(Indianapolis, IN) September 17th marked a historical moment for the…
( Vienna, VA) – September marks the start of fall and the end of the summer season at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. To mark the end of the season, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and Tickets.com put together a special experience for an extraordinary Shriners Hospitals for Children patient, José and his family.
José the Musician:
The Philadelphia team at Shriners Hospitals for Children has seen lots of talented patients pass through their doors. Few patients have had the ability to quiet a room like José.
José, professionally known as José André, is a piano prodigy who plays Jazz, Bossa Nova, Latin American, and World Music. He also happens to be blind. At the young age of 16, he has already performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Blues Alley, and the Library of Congress. He has also performed internationally in Rome, Kuala Lumpur, and Finland. Along the way, he has shared the stage with various notable artists, including Grammy winners Marcus Miller and Renée Fleming.
José has been playing piano since he was three and a half years old and what is even more surprising is that neither of his parents are serious musicians. He plays the piano by ear and loves to improvise and play along with others. Although he still shares similar interests with many other teenagers, José’s biggest passion has always been music.
“I feel happiness and joy when I play the piano because music is life for me,” said José.
The Wolf Trap and Tickets.com Experience:
To celebrate this incredible musician, Wolf Trap and Tickets.com treated José and his family to a musical evening under the stars featuring Lake Street Dive, a quartet known for their indie rock infused take on classic jazz and soul.
The evening included VIP seats to the Lake Street Dive concert on September 9, exclusive access to Wolf Trap’s Encore Circle Lounge and dinner accommodations on site at The Fermented Pig BBQ at OVATIONS with complimentary drinks, and gifts from Tickets.com and Wolf Trap.
More About José:
Born with cerebral palsy, José began his Shriners Hospital journey after his mother, Giovanna, saw a TV commercial that encouraged her to reach out to the hospital. They were looking for alternative treatments to help with José’s walking.
Over the years, José has received surgery and physical therapy to help straighten and strengthen his legs.. Many staff have come to know him as a hard-working patient with an winning smile and positive attitude about life.
“José is an incredible young man with a huge heart, and it is always a pleasure working with him to help him walk with his walker so he can be more independent when not in his wheelchair,” said Mallory Meyer, DPT, senior physical therapist. “Regardless of what José is going through, he always ensures that the people around him are doing well and can bring a smile to anyone’s face by simply saying hello, talking about football (soccer), and of course by using his incredible talent of playing the piano so beautifully.”
Most people would never know the amount of pain José experienced while walking. Although his walking has improved significantly, he still uses his wheelchair for long distances. He and his parents are grateful for all the profound effect that Shriners Hospital has had on José’s life.
“The care received at Shriners [Hospital] made a huge impact on his life,” said José’s mom, Giovanna. “His legs are straighter because of his surgery. His physical therapy helps him gain strength in his legs, and his occupational therapy helps him gain independence in his daily living skills. José also got a customized wheelchair that he uses for school and helps make things a lot more comfortable for him.”
José’s mom/manager continues to share his story as they travel around the world. She hopes that she can encourage other parents to seek care for children with special needs and that José inspires others with disabilities to follow their dreams.
“José Andre has a special journey, and he has been fortunate to meet people that care for him and helped him achieve his goals,” said Giovanna. “His goal is to be able to have a life that is not defined by his disabilities, but it is modeled by his abilities.”
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Philadelphia provides specialty orthopedic care to the Philadelphia community and beyond. We are a non-profit hospital caring for children for over 95 years with routine and rare orthopedic conditions, including fractures, sports injuries, scoliosis, and spinal cord injuries. We offer surgical, non-surgical, and rehabilitative services using innovative and advanced technology.
For more information, please visit: www.shrinersphilly.org
If you would like to make a donation to help José and other children like him the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital, please visit: https://lovetotherescue.org/
About Wolf Trap
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by Wolf Trap Foundation year-round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding professional training programs for early career opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
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