Just Call Me By My Name

A record label to promote the work of people with disabilities, Just Call Me By My Name, has been launched by Daniel’s Music Foundation, a non-profit based in New York City that provides free music programs and events for people with disabilities from 3 years old to adults.

Its first release, distributed by The Orchard, is a compilation called (naturally) Just Call Me By My Name, Volume 1, and it features a variety of wonderful musicians. They include Daniel Trush (co-founder of Daniel’s Music, who you can read about below) & Gerry Powers, and 12-year-old opera singer Iolanta Mamatkazina, who’s blind. The video below is a really fun look at who’s on the album.

Daniel’s Music Foundation, which launched in 2006, was inspired by Daniel himself. In 1977, at age 13, he was playing basketball when an aneurysm erupted. He spent 30 days in a coma, during which time his father, Ken Trush, says he made a promise that if Daniel survived, the family would make meaningful contributions to the community. (See him speak about this and more in a moving TedX Broadway Talk he did with Daniel, below.)

Daniel survived and thrived. After more than a year in the hospital and rehab, he came home. For several years he used a wheelchair, relearning how to walk and, when he began taking steps on his own, he made the New York City marathon a goal. In 2007, he reached it, completing the course.

Daniel played the trumpet before his long hospital stay, and afterward, he played the keyboard and sang. This connection to music led the family to launch the foundation.

“We thought that music was the great equalizer,” Trush told Gothamist. “We felt that if people, music lovers — and almost everyone’s a music lover — understood the talent, maybe judgment would lessen, and they would just sit back and enjoy the music.”

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