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Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture presents: Gaelynn Lea in Concert


Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture presents:

Gaelynn Lea in Concert

Thursday, April 5 at 7:30pm

CBC Studio, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Tickets are $20 and available through Eventbrite.ca

This performance will be ASL interpreted.

CBC Studio is wheelchair accessible.

Gaelynn Lea was given the opportunity of a lifetime when she won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest and she certainly made the most of it. She and her husband Paul quit their jobs, sold their house, bought a van, and hit the road.

Since they left just over a year ago, Gaelynn has played over 200 shows in 39 states and 6 countries. She has performed in the widest variety of venues imaginable – coffee shops, bars, music festivals, elementary schools, nursing homes, college’s, The House of Blues, Music City Roots, The Kennedy Center, The State Department and even BBC World News.

Gaelynn Lea performs from her electric wheelchair. She began playing violin 20 years ago after a creative music teacher helped her to adapt a playing style that suits her frame. Lea holds her instrument like a tiny cello and loops her classically trained rhythms and melodies “to create a symphonic cacophony that is both glorious in its reach and profoundly introspective”. (Collins de la Cour, Ear to the Ground) Her original songs explore the contrasting nature of existence – dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy.

“Gaelynn Lea’s live performances can be overwhelmingly soul-stirring.” Bob Boilen reported that “there was hardly a dry eye” at her 2016 Tiny Desk Concert. However, she is not all seriousness during her shows. In fact, Gaelynn is disarmingly charming onstage, “at once self-deprecating and plainspokenly funny”. (Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune) She regales the audience with humorous anecdotes in between songs, putting those in attendance at ease.

Although the past year has been spent mostly on the road, Gaelynn Lea has somehow found the time to work on her fourth studio album; If Only Love Would Be Our Guide is expected to be released in September 2018. It is an eclectic collection that runs the gamut sonically – from pensive to luscious to aggressive to decidedly pop – and if that’s not enough variety, there’s even a Finnish fiddle tune! The connecting thread of the album is Gaelynn Lea herself – a singular voice and violin guide the listener on a journey which touches on some of life’s greatest mysteries.”

In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn also loves to do speaking engagements about disability awareness, the power music, and leading an enriching life. She has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease. Gaelynn is a strong voice in the disability community; she uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change. Gaelynn Lea believes society must prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate in their communities and use their gifts without barriers or discrimination.

”Karen Dalton and Joanna Newsom melt together in the form of Gaelynn Lea and set about absolutely obliterating your heart.” -Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys)

“The way her voice resonates is so unusual and beautiful, like nothing I’ve ever heard before.” Jess Wolfe (Lucius)


Kickstart is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year!

Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture is registered charitable organization founded in 1998 and is the only professional arts organization in BC that supports and promotes artists who identify as living with a disability. Kickstart showcases authentic representations of the disability experience and ensures that these artists are paid for their work.


– To highlight a small fraction of the many talented artists living with a disability,

– To break down the barriers that commonly prevents these artists from getting well-deserved exposure on gallery walls and give the general public the opportunity to see their work;

– To present works that are authentic representations of the disability experience.

Contact: Yuri Arajs

Phone: 604-343-9141

Email: kickstartdirector@gmail.com


printable PDF:

PR-Gaelynn Lea

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