Gaelynn Lea lives in Duluth, MN. She was born with brittle bone disease. Gaelynn started playing the violin when she was 10 years old and she invented a new way to play violin, holding it upright like a cello. Gaelynn became a classically trained violinist and songwriter. In 2016 she won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country.
For Gaelynn, music and her disability are not the same. When she is playing music she doesn’t think about her disability; she feels like herself. Music becomes a form of meditation for Gaelynn.
Gaelynn feels that there is a lot more that can be done to make the arts more inclusive, and if she can be a catalyst for that, that is important to her.
To watch and listen to her story, catch the jam session with Chris Funk of The Decemberists in the first episode of ‘Funk Plus One.’ https://www.facebook.com/greatbigstory/videos/1762164814085944/
(image description: Gaelynn is sitting in a wheelchair, with her violin holding her violin in an upright position singing into a microphone.)