Religious concert with Tony Melendez
Saturday, Aug 24, 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Bilingual (English and Spanish)
Come and witness how one man's disability became his gift from God.
José Antonio Meléndez Rodríguez (born January 9, 1962, Rivas, Nicaragua) is a Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer, and songwriter who was born without arms. His mother took Thalidomide while pregnant, which caused his disability. Meléndez has learned to play the guitar with his feet. Melendez’s mother took the Thalidomide thinking it was safe, as it was prescribed to her to lessen her morning sickness. In an attempt to help her child, Melendez was taken to the Los Angeles area to be fitted with artificial arms. He only wore the artificial arms until he was about 10 years old, saying that he was not comfortable with them. In 1985 he started to perform around the area.
Tony Melendez is a bilingual, corporate speaker, motivational, pro-life, youth speaker travelling from Branson, Missouri. On 15 September 1987 he performed for Pope John Paul II, playing guitar and singing Never Be The Same. The Pope came to him after the song, embraced him warmly and told him that he hoped Melendez would continue on this path and bring hope to others.
Melendez continued to compose his own music, and recorded an album in 1989. By 2005 Melendez had formed a band, named Tony Melendez and the Toe Jam Band.
He wrote a book named Gift Called Hope, which was published in 1991. While touring with his band, Melendez gave motivational speeches, promoting life and hope. His discography includes, Ways of the Wise, El Muro Se Calló, Debe Haber, Hands in Heaven, The Cup of Life and Intimate Worship.
Over the years, his work and motivational journey has seen Melendez being presented with the Unity Awards Male Vocalist of the Year in 2000, 2002 and in 2004, as well as the Unity Awards Artist of the Year UCMVA in 2002. He was also named as a Positive Role Model of America by President Reagan and received a special commendation by the State of California for his work with the youth. The NFL Alumni Association honored him with an Inspirational Hero Award.
Tony Melendez is living proof that a disability does not prevent one from gaining success and inspiring others. He is married and lives with his wife Lynn in Branson, appreciating the gifts he was given and his children, who are his inspiration.
St. Helen Church
In the church 3033 NW 33rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 (Map)