United by Music North America
Transforming Lives Through Music!
“People need hope to survive. United by Music NA gives people hope! I love playin’ with this band!” – Bobby Rush, Mentor, GRAMMY and BMA recipient.
Blues Inclusion Revolution:
More Than Moments ~ It’s a Movement
Tens of thousands have cheered the high energy, uplifting music at Waterfront Blues Festival as well as UBMNA All-Star Showcases in Memphis during IBC week, the Netherlands Gala Concerts, WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour LIVE and PBS shows, 8 appearances during USA Games Special Olympics and conferences in California, St. Louis and Washington.
United by Music North America is a performance-based non-profit program and band for musically talented individuals with developmental challenges such as Autism. Those chosen to be in the program work in weekly rehearsals with professional musicians who are eager to participate in getting the band performance-ready.
At the core of the group’s mission is layering into rehearsals and workshops the benefit and excitement of working with acclaimed professional musicians.
The newest mentor for UBMNA, who will be joining the group on the festival stage Sunday afternoon, is GRAMMY-nominee and multiple BMA winner, Shemekia Copeland, blending the best in Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll!
UBMNA returning all-stars to be featured this year include Sweet Marlana, from Kentucky, on keys and vocals; Christone “KingFish” Ingram, from Mississippi, on guitar & vocals; from Washington State, Nick Baker (keys and vocals), Patrick Blue (guitar and vocals), Roy (shaker and sax), Sean (bass) and Malcolm (drums). From Oregon, vocalists Aaron, Jordan, Bethany, Suzie, David & John. And new this year from Florida, Trey Wanvig (guitar and vocals), and from California, Rachel Flowers (multi-instrumentalist and vocalist).
United by Music North America is best experienced LIVE and through the expressions of our mentor band members and people intimately involved in this program and band.
In their own words:
“On our stage, there are no limits, our Artists soar to their highest potential. Through United By Music USA, we experience these Artists grow as musicians – and – as people, forming friendships, connections, becoming confident to be exactly who they are inherently. We all have worth. Having someone WE value believe in us is one of the most fulfilling feelings”. – Amanda Gresham, UBMNA-USA Producing Artistic Director/Co-Founder
Ben Rice: “It is so much fun being a mentor! As we coach Artists on the nuances necessary to be seasoned, successful band members, we are also learning from them. The Mentors are personal friends of Amanda so she knows how to blend them with the Artists for a unified performance that is exciting and entertaining.
Kenny Neal: “Let’s get this band recorded in my studio TODAY they’re off the chain! Kingfish is killer, Marlana is amazing, I just played with Malcom, Sean, Marlana & Rachel in California, whatta show. In Memphis, Amanda introduced me to Trey. Every year it just gets better!”
Dave Fleschner: “It’s an honor to mentor these Artists, this work gives my life meaning. As a career musician, teacher, and this band’s Music Director I have seen the most growth ever this year – and returning audiences will also see that. The shows Amanda, our producer, creates are a blast to work on, we can’t wait to share them with you.”
UBMNA performs world-wide and year-round. The organization has programs in The Netherlands, Romania, Denmark and with a collaborative agreement in South Korea working with their Special Music and Art Fest, a full-time casting program