Artist Support of Music Therapy

Fleming_ReneeRenée Fleming

Renée Fleming’s accomplishments reflect her artistry as well as her passion for making a difference in the lives of people through her work. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Fleming is a four-time Grammy Award winner. In 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist. And in 2016 she instigated a partnership between NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts focusing on the intersections of music and the mind. As one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, Ms. Fleming not only captivates audiences, but is also passionate about the importance and potential of music for health and well-being, especially in the form of music therapy. AMTA welcomes Ms. Fleming’s commitment to exploring the science and benefits of music therapy interventions for wellness and rehabilitation.

Ms. Fleming notes, “The transformative power of music, including its therapeutic uses for individuals with autism, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and PTSD, inspires me tremendously. I'm excited by the opportunity to amplify the incredible work done by AMTA and music therapists around the country.”

FoldsBen Folds

Multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording multiple studio albums, a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances, a remix record, music for film and TV, as well as numerous collaborations with artists from Sara Bareilles to William Shatner. Folds has also achieved critical acclaim for his insight as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition "The Sing-Off,” which aired for five seasons. A Nashville resident, Folds owns and operates the historic RCA Studio A, once managed by Chet Atkins, and the home to thousands of legendary recording sessions in all genres of music.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony, and has composed a highly acclaimed 25-minute, three movement concerto for piano and orchestra which premiered in Nashville, and has been performed around the world.  
 
A member of the distinguished Artist Committee for Americans for The Arts as well as Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra, Folds is a leading outspoken advocate for music therapy and music education and participated in a special conference at Sundance Resort hosted by Robert Redford that explored how music and art therapy can help our nation’s military veterans.

spielbergRobin Spielberg

Robin Spielberg was classically trained as a pianist and began composing as a young girl. With an impressive tour schedule and hundreds of thousands of recordings sold, this Steinway Artist has been winning the hearts of listeners around the world with her compelling melodies and sensitive piano techniques. A prolific composer, Spielberg has seventeen recordings to her credit and appears on over 40 compilations around the world. Her discography includes albums of original piano solos, arrangements of American standards, original pieces for piano/ensemble, recordings for the holidays, a CD of American melodies, and a CD of lullabies. Throughout her solo career, listeners have returned time and time again to her Robin's unique style and compositions. Her gift for creating enchanting melodies has won her a place among the nation's most respected contemporary pianists.

In 1998, Robin's interest in music and healing grew when she witnessed first-hand, the positive effect music had on her own baby daughter during her four-month stay in the neo-natal intensive care unit. A CD entitled Beautiful Dreamer was the musical result of this experience, a recording of lullabies and songs for parent and child.

Mcgovern_MaureenMaureen McGovern

Maureen McGovern is one of the great singers and performers of our time. Her career spans recordings, concerts, theater, films, television and radio. Ms. McGovern has a voice that defies categorization - from a jazzy pop register to a pure coloratura. It is no wonder she has been called "The Stradivarius Voice." In addition to her artistic achievements, Maureen has a lifelong commitment to giving back to her community and the people around her.

This internationally renowned performer is the recipient of the 2001 Songs From The Heart Presidential Award presented by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and The Recording Academy. The Songs From The Heart Award recognizes artists whose music and career captures the soul and spirit of music therapy, and the poignancy of music in our lives. The Award pays tribute to Maureen McGovern’s commitment to and belief in the transforming power of music.

Jordan_StanleyStanley Jordan

In a career that took flight in 1985 with commercial and critical acclaim, guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan has consistently displayed a chameleonic musical persona of openness, imagination, versatility and maverick daring. Be it bold reinventions of classical masterpieces or soulful explorations through pop-rock hits, to blazing straight ahead jazz forays and ultramodern improvisational works—solo or with a group—Jordan can always be counted on to take listeners on breathless journeys into the unexpected.
 
In addition to Stanley's incredible guitar skills, he also has a keen interest in the healing power of music and has been a friend to music therapy for many years. He has supported music therapy by playing at national conferences, observing music therapists in action, and has even dedicated a section of his own web page to music therapy.

Chaquico_CraigCraig Chaquico

Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling lead guitarist and songwriter with Jefferson Starship as well as chart-topping smooth jazz solo artist, Craig Chaquico is one of music therapy's avid supporters. Craig was raised in Sacramento, California and by the time he was 14, he was playing in his own band and playing professionally in nightclubs. Paul Kantner and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane auditioned Craig on his 16th birthday and invited him to join them in his recording debut on their Sunfighter album.

Craig's personal belief in the power of music, as well as his deep respect for, and understanding of, the work that music therapists do have led him to become one of music therapy's dedicated advocates. Craig has visited and performed at music therapy programs in schools and health care facilities across the country. He has donated guitars, given by him to Washburn Guitar Co., to the music therapy programs he visited while on tour. Craig has increased public awareness of the benefits of music therapy services by educating audiences in his concerts and at other public appearances.

Freeman_RussRuss Freeman

Russ Freeman is a Grammy-nominated guitarist and composer, and also founder and leader of the popular contemporary jazz group, the Rippingtons. Russ began playing guitar at age 10, and by the time he was 16, was playing on record dates regularly. In 1985 he released his debut album "Nocturnal Playground". The next year he founded the Rippingtons, wrote and produced the much-acclaimed "Moonlighting" CD, which Jazziz magazine has called "the number one most influential contemporary jazz album of all time."  Since then Russ has written, produced and performed on 21 additional Rippingtons albums, all of which have charted in the Billboard Top 5, with 5 of them reaching number 1.

In 1995, Russ read with interest Craig Chaquico's April 8, 1995 Billboard magazine commentary regarding music therapy. Russ had received letters from his fans about how his music helped them and their loved ones get through some difficult times. Russ was fascinated by these stories and wanted to visit music therapy programs like those that Craig had mentioned. Russ and The Rippingtons have visited and performed at children's hospitals, schools, and cancer and hospice centers for clients of music therapy services. He and other band members of The Rippingtons support the work that music therapists do.

Lanz_DavidDavid Lanz

Some musicians have the ability to transform your very being with the gifts of their artistry. Master pianist and composer, David Lanz, is that kind of force. A wizard at painting a lush tapestry of cascading melodies that simmer into graceful refrains, and meld rhythmically fueled dancing harmonies that climax into wistful variations, Lanz has made a career of permeating the hearts, minds and souls of audiences around the globe for over three decades. Ahead of his time, the visionary Grammy-nominated and chart-topping pianist has remained a pioneer in the genre of New Age music. For over thirty years, David's visionary recordings and live performances have served to heal, to inspire, to provide spiritual nourishment to diverse audiences around the globe.

David became an artist spokesperson for AMTA when he performed a benefit concert during the 1997 music therapy conference. Playing the piano, he says, is his greatest form of self-expression.

Martino_PatPat Martino

One of the greatest guitarists in jazz, Pat Martino suffered a severe brain aneurysm and underwent surgery after being told that his condition could be terminal. After his operations, he could remember almost nothing. He barely recognized his parents and had no memory of his guitar or his career. He remembers feeling as if he had been "dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed, ... naked."  In the following months, Martino made a remarkable recovery. Through intensive study of his own historic recordings, and with the help of computer technology, Pat managed to reverse his memory loss and return to form on his instrument. His past recordings eventually became "an old friend, a spiritual experience which remained beautiful and honest." This recovery fits in perfectly with Pat's illustrious personal history. Since playing his first notes while still in his pre-teenage years, Martino has been recognized as one of the most exciting and virtuosic guitarists in jazz. With a distinctive, fat sound and gut-wrenching performances, he represents the best not just in jazz, but in music. He embodies thoughtful energy and soul.

Pat was the recipient of the 1997 "Songs from the Heart" Presidential Award presented by the former National Association for Music Therapy and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Pat's music captures the soul and spirit of music therapy.

Ponzio_DianeDiane Ponzio

Native New Yorker and Singer-Songwriter Diane Ponzio shares her authentic passion for Martin Guitars in her clinics. Weaving the riveting Martin Story with an in-depth explanation of Martin's renowned construction methods, she tops off the evening with a soulful performance on her signature JDP or JDP II model, and a Q&A session that rarely finds her stumped. Diane's longstanding relationship with C.F. Martin & Co. and her participation in scores of Trade Shows and inspiring presentations worldwide, have made her Martin's well recognized global ambassador.

Diane has demonstrated her support for music therapy through performing at music therapy conferences and events.