Flame the Band returns to South Bend March 27, 2018 for an encore performance at The Great LOGAN Nose-On Luncheon. The band first performed at a Nose-On Luncheon in 2010. Audience members still talk about the party atmosphere their music created. It was so festive, an impromptu conga line formed and danced around the banquet hall.
“We wanted something festive, something celebratory for our 30th anniversary,” said Jill Langford, LOGAN Chief Development Officer. “We all had the same thought at once — ‘Bring back Flame!'”
(from their website)
Flame is a group of musicians with powerful vocals, smooth harmonies and a rich array of instruments. The 10-person cover band from Gloversville, New York happens to have disabilities.
Named for the Special Olympics torch, Flame was born at a 2003 talent show put on by Lexington, an agency similar to LOGAN, in Gloversville. Vocalist Michelle King won the contest and asked if she could start a band. Lexington held open auditions and found others to join her.
Like many bands, Flame started small as a recreational band within the agency and gradually gained momentum outside of the agency. Today, the band is known and celebrated worldwide for their music and inspirational message.
Changing the world through music
The band’s mission is to change the world through music. “They inspire people with disabilities and give hope to them and their families – hope that they can do great things and live a fun and fulfilling life,” said Maria Nestle, Band Manager. “Flame’s performances help change how the public perceives people with disabilities and increase the awareness and acceptance of all people, regardless of their differences.”
Flame performs more than 70 times per year, touring the greater Northeast area and beyond in a custom bus. The band performs concerts at national and statewide conventions, corporate conferences, civic events, schools, dances and private parties. Their repertoire includes more than 100 classic rock, pop, country and blues songs from the past 50 years, as well as some original tracks. In 14 years of work, they have produced five albums and a single.
A segment about Flame aired on Good Morning America in 2009 and People magazine ran a two-page spread about them in October 2010. They have performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio; New York’s Apollo Theater; Harvard Law School; the Parthenon in Athens, Greece and; the 2009 Special Olympics. Lead Singer Michelle King even sang at the funeral of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics. Most recently Flame performed in Puerto Rico for a Live Aid concert to benefit hurricane victims, and in Carpi, Italy for the 19th Annual International Festival for Different Abilities.
The musicians of Flame have disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness and paralysis, but that doesn’t hold them back. They do what they love and change the world along the way.
Flame the band
Flame is based at The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts.