Gaelynn Lea Brings Music And Message To Winston-Salem

Gaelynn Lea Brings Music And Message To Winston-Salem

6:00am Nov 01, 2019
Gaelynn Lea. Image credit: EvrGlo Media

2016 NPR Tiny Desk Concert Contest winner Gaelynn Lea is coming to Winston-Salem next week for a concert and talk. It's part of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County’s Creative Conversations series. Lea is a violinist, singer, and songwriter, and an advocate for people with disabilities.

Since winning the Tiny Desk Contest, Lea has toured internationally and played hundreds of shows. Her music bridges traditional and modern sounds and utilizes audio technology like loop pedals.

But the Duluth, Minnesota, native isn’t only a performer. She’s also a speaker, who shares a message about accessibility and inclusivity.

Gaelynn Lea was born with a disability that’s commonly referred to as Brittle Bone Disease, a condition that results in fragile bones that break easily. She has been in a wheelchair since the age of two and learned to play her violin upright, like a cello.

Lea told WFDD last year that a big part of her advocacy is about changing perceptions. 

“Disability isn't a negative thing,” says Lea. “We have to reframe it, as rather a form of just physical diversity. If you take the negativity out of it in your language, just the way we talk about it, then you start to realize that we have equal value. And having equal value means that we also have equal rights, right?”

Lea will discuss her life and music with host Martha Bassett on Tuesday, November 5, at Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem.

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