Unique Musician Performs in Panama City

By: Betsy Goldin Email
By: Betsy Goldin Email

Tony Melendez is a very unique guitarist, who has performed all over the world.
Friday evening you have the chance to see him.
Melendez started playing the guitar when he was 16 years old.
"And you notice, I don't have any arms,” Melendez said. “So, I play the guitar with my toes."
Melendez is what doctors call a Thalidomide baby.
Thalidomide was widely prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness from 1957 to 1961, until doctors discovered it caused birth defects.
Melendez did not let his life-long disability stop him from pursuing his dream of music, and spreading his message of hope.
“I'm not sure exactly how to give hope,” he said. “But, I think through my music, through my worlds, and through my heart."
One of the highlights of his career was performing for Pope John Paul II.
"He jumps off a stage and kisses me," said Melendez.
But, he said he is equally gratified by the many people he has helped inspire.
Melendez is playing at 7:00pm Friday at St. Dominic's Catholic Church on East 15th St.
"I think you'll be inspired. I think you'll have a good time,” said Melendez. “I feel that you'll feel energized, something spiritual will happen in your heart if anything, just hope, if he can do it, why can't I?


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