Jackie Bertone Uses Hands-Free Jamboxx Instrument

April 2018 - Jackie Bertone is a renowned musician who has worked with bands such as the Beach Boys and The Eagles. He also has multiple sclerosis (MS), so to keep drumming Mr. Bertone has used an electronic synthesizer named Jamboxx. In a report, Mr. Bertone said, “As a long-time touring and recording percussionist, I was diagnosed with MS, which eventually hindered my expression as a performer. Fortunately, with Jamboxx, I can now be more musical than ever, exploring a melodic side along with enhancing my rhythmic foundation, while finding new passion on the road to health and musical discovery.” 
Jamboxx allows for hands-free operation from a harmonica like input method, in which a user’s breath is converted into digital MIDI notes. Moving to the left or right on the mouthpiece affects the tone, and the device can be modified to output as a guitar, drums, violin, piano, or saxophone. The company behind Jamboxx, My Music Machines, was founded by David Whelen, who is paralyzed from a skiing accident, and Mike Dicesare, a musician. Mr. Dicesare said in a statement, “We designed the Jamboxx for everyone: for those with any type of cognitive or physical disability to any artist in any performance venue. We’re honored to partner with EnterTalk Media and Jackie Bertone to help bring the Jamboxx instrument to enthusiasts and professionals alike.”
In a video interview, Mr. Bertone shared how Jamboxx had helped him keep music in his life, stating, “I just think it’s pretty amazing. You know, for those out there that just don’t have the ability — again I’m fighting back tears, man –because this gives the ability to the brothers and sisters they can’t play anymore. Or didn’t think they could play anymore. I’m promoting this [Jamboxx], man, because on the times when my right hand doesn’t want to work …. It gives me the ability to play what I can’t play. I mean just because I’ve been a 30-year player in the industry. MS has taken some of it away. This brought it back.” [Source: Global Accessibility News]


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