Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

Menu Close

Young musician headed for Jazz Fest

Group to showcase music by disabled artists

“The reason I wanted to call the band Ability is because we’re playing music written by musicians who had disabilities, but when you hear that word, you picture someone in a wheelchair and can’t do anything for themselves,” Derraugh said. “Disability carries a negative connotation… so I prefer ability, because we all have ability, even if we’re slightly different.”

Derraugh says they’ll be playing tunes by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and David Sanborn, among others.

Derraugh has played with the other four musicians in Ability before, and he says they have good chemistry onstage.

“When I put a band together, especially playing for other people, I always try to get the best players in town, because they will elevate my play, and make me sound better than I do,” Derraugh said. “When I’m playing with these guys, it’s more of a comfort onstage because I don’t have to worry about them.”

As for performing for a large audience at a popular music festival, Derraugh isn’t feeling nervous.

“I’ve been performing for other people since I was five years old at the Charleswood talent show, so I love being onstage while performing for people. I always say I’d rather be playing in front of people than sitting in a practice room,” he said.

For more information on the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, visit

Read more by Alana Trachenko.

Skip to content