The Shalva Band, which has inspired thousands of people around the globe with their viral music video, embarked on a four-week world tour at the end of October 2017 to perform in cities across three continents. The Shalva Band is comprised of seven adults with disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and various other handicaps, whose talents and moving performances have merited awards and international recognition. The band traveled to New York, Toronto, Mexico City, London and Moscow to represent Israel and people with disabilities at dozens of dignitary and cultural events.
Shai Ben-Shushan established the Shalva Band as a personal rehabilitative mission to give back to the community following his recovery from a serious injury while serving in the IDF. The band performs several times a week, often alongside musical celebrities. Besides entertaining and inspiring people through their excellent music, they are constantly honing their fine motor skills, discipline, and social and communication skills through their band participation. The Shalva Band prepared special musical renditions in English in advance of their tour, and were accompanied by a music therapist and other professionals as part of the band’s support staff.
“When the band was established over ten years ago, it was merely an expansion of Shalva’s music therapy program,” explained Shai Ben-Shushan, the Shalva Band director. “Today the Shalva Band has become an international icon for inclusion and a real example of the amazing things that can happen when you empower people’s abilities and believe in their potential.”
The band tour was incredibly moving and exciting for all the members who proved time and again that they are not just professional musicians, but they are also capable of truly touching people, often moving them to tears and, just as importantly, touching their feet, and moving them to dance.
The Shalva Band tour of 2017 was a dream come true for Ben-Shushan, for the band members and for the Shalva family at large, and this is only the beginning.
Follow the band on Facebook for performance updates.
Learn more about them and invite them to perform here.