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Zildjian Australian Artist Andrew Hewitt

Zildjian Artist – Andrew Hewitt – USA – Wheelchair and All

My name is Andrew Hewitt, I am an Australian Zildjian artist, who spends most of my day in a wheelchair due to having Cerebral Palsy, however this has never stopped me.

Over the years, I have performed all over Australia, and earned the name “Australia’s most inspirational drummer”.

In March 2013, I made the trek to the USA.
I landed a Cultivate arts grant through Arts Access Australia. A Cultivate grant is to assist an artist with a disability with professional development to give them a better chance of making a career from their chosen artform.

Andrew Hewitt Zildjian Artist Australia

For me, it was to help improve my skills as a drummer, and broaden my horizons.
The trip to the USA was for me to attend a 3 day training seminar for TRAP (The Rhythmic Arts Project). TRAP is a program which teaches kids and young adults with disabilities to read, spell, count and use life skills using drums and percussion. Each workshop has 6 participants, and is started by getting each person to say their name, and then sound it on the drum, number of beats per letter in their name. Then takes them through identifying quarter notes, and counting 1, 2, 3,4. Also identifying colours, shapes,  even telling the time on a clock.

After the seminar, I have become the first Australian facilitator qualified to teach this program. This program is now going on offer to disability centres  all over the country.
At the end of the TRAP seminar, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to give my own drum clinic, sponsored by Zildjian . It was at the Westside Community Centre in Santa Barbara, and had about 30 or 40 people in attendance.

During the clinic, I spoke about my life, my challenges, my passion for drums, and how I overcome physical challenges associated to my disability. Demonstrated a few ideas and techniques I use to help make things easier, and talked about my approach to teaching my own students with disabilities.

Finished off the gig with a few play along tracks from Australian classic rock from the 70s – now. Songs like “Long Way to the Top”, “Don’t Change”,”Are you gonna be my girl” and with a finish off with “Down Under”. The response was overwhelming.

Funniest thing during the gig, was a room of Americans trying to say G’day Mate!

After the TRAP seminar was done and dusted, I headed to New York for a meeting and lessons with Dom Famularo at his Wizdom Woodshed in Port Jefferson, Long Island.

While at Dom’s I met with 2 other disabled drummers, Mike Mignogna, and David Segal. During this meeting, we formed a global organisation to provide support and promote musicians with disabilities worldwide. This would also include performance and touring opportunities on a worldwide scale.

The organisation will be called Can-Do Muso’s.

~ Andrew Hewitt
"Australia's Most Inspirational Drummer"