Jazz singer overcomes hearing disability using tuner and visual clues to perform


©Joe Harvey

The Greeley Tribune, Colorado (USA) recently reported on the story of Mandy Harvey, a jazz singer with hearing loss who is able to sing from memory, from a time when she could hear.

Mandy Harvey, who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio has already released three albums and won several music awards. In childhood, she was diagnosed with a connective tissue disease associated with progressive hearing loss. During her time at Colorado State University, she became completely deaf but decided to continue her music career.

Harvey was attracted to jazz for a long time, even though learning to perform jazz is a long and difficult process. She says she was also interested in the flexibility of this music genre. “The words are poetic, but you can change the songs and sing them in so many different ways,” Harvey says. “You can bend the tune to fit the emotion you want to give it.” Harvey is able to find the tempo by feeling the vibrations in the floor, and if she ever goes slightly off key, her accompanying pianist can subtly move his hand up or down to help her get her back in tune.

Recently, Harvey performed at the Moxi Theater in Greeley, CO for the benefit of the advocacy group Connections for Independent Living. Kasie Sankey, an independent living specialist with the group, said she hopes Harvey’s story will inspire others. “We hope we get the message across that disability doesn’t make you who you are and it won’t stop you from living the life you want,” says Sankey. “There are so many people around the world who have beaten the odds.”

Visit the Mandy Harvey website.

Source: The Greeley Tribune