Report by Paula Antolini
February 18, 2017 9:03AM EDT
Photo above: Damon and Sarah Wade sit at a piano in their studio on Nashville Road in 2015.
The Wade Family of Bethel Needs Our Help. Musician Damon Wade Has Cancer.
From Go Fund Me Page: “The Wade family is currently in need of help. Damon is sick with cancer and every little bit will help their family. If you can’t donate please share their story.”
For anyone that attended the Bethel Winterfest in the last few years, Damon Wade is a familiar face in P.T. Barnum Square … his was the music you would hear playing merrily in the air all day long until Santa’s arrival later that night, to the joy of young children waiting. Wade is a DJ with a passion for, and a large collection of, vintage vinyl records you would see spinning on his turntable and hear playing in the square.
Many of you in Bethel may also remember Damon Wade and his family that owns Wade’s Piano Center at 10 Nashville Road (off Greenwood Avenue) in Bethel CT. (They recently moved to another location in Bethel, 14 Depot Place.) It is a family owned and operated business by Damon John Wade and Sarah Wade.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Damon and Sarah in their shop, Wade’s Piano Center, in 2015 and the interview was very candid.
Fifteen-year Bethel residents (now seventeen years), Damon and Sarah were celebrating their one-year business anniversary that year, of their store opening.
Business owner Damon John Wade’s life has, for the most part, been all about music. He is a man of many talents: music teacher, singer, song-writer, guitarist, pianist, drummer, and piano technician, restoration expert. He has a love of motorcycles too.
His wife Sarah said she is more of the support, “Yeah I have about as much talent as a buzz bug, I am definitely the support.” She continued, “I love music, I’m not a player, I just have an appreciation for it. I’ve been around it, which is more special from my perspective.” Right then Damon immediately praised her singing ability. “You are a wonderful singer though, and I love your voice, and you can sing but you’re a little shy about it.”
I asked Damon how his interest in music began. “When I was a child I started strumming the broomstick and just imagined as a young child, and it grew from there,” he said.
Damon was born into a musical family in Easton, CT, he was one of seven children. His parents were very supportive of his music early on. At age seven his parents gave him his first guitar and lessons. He continued to pursue his musical passion, appreciating many styles of music genre, but was drawn towards both blues and Piedmont blues.
Damon took music lessons in high school and also played in garage bands with his friends. After graduation he said he got more serious about music. He attended Five Towns College, a music school on Long Island (Dix Hill, New York) where he received his formal training in music. There he earned his degree in jazz performance and music education.
Damon said it wasn’t long before he was inspired by Robert Johnson, Skip James, and Jimi Hendrix. He was drawn to music with American roots and contemporary folk music.
“I like all kinds of music. I have a lot of players I really like a lot, ranging from Jimmy Hendrix to Bach, if that gives you an idea, and everything in between. I love listening to everything,” Damon said.
Damon has been in and out of many types of bands: blues, rock, funk, soul, folk, jazz, r&b, top 40, wedding, cover and jam bands. But the one thing that never changes is that he’s always learning and seeking to improve his skills. In that spirit, Damon self-produced and released his first solo venture in 2007, MY VFR, (a song about his motorcycle) out of his home studio.
Damon opened for “American Idol: Season Four” runner-up Bo Bice at the Ridgefield Playhouse on July 8, 2008, and there Wade received his first standing ovation, for which he was thrilled. He has also performed in the Redding Roadhouse.
To say Damon Wade has a passion for music is an understatement. To learn a little more about Wade, read below about his life.
According to his website, “Damon began guitar lessons at 7 went on to study music at college, performed with bands as a guitarist, formed his own bands as lead guitarist. Played for a top 40’s cover band playing the eastern seaboard circuit and performed at a variety of local venues with his bands.”
“Somewhere in between bands Damon started to teach private music lessons and has been doing so for 25+ years.”
“Damon began Piano Tuning 10+ years ago. He is a registered Associate Member of the Connecticut chapter Piano Tuning Guild.”
“Damon also does Pianos Sales and Reconditioning: For most Piano Technicians pianos become an obsession,” the website states, “no one is really sure if it is spurred on by default or a ever growing passion pianos. After each piano has gone through Damon’s meticulous 100+ step reconditioning process it is ready for the showroom floor.”
“Since Damon has been playing guitar he has been customizing and repairing his guitars to get “that sound and feel” that he wants. Each guitarist has their own sound that they want to create and Damon diligently works to create an instrument that plays your sound.”
“It is our goal to grow your love of music!” the website states.
Wade’s Piano Center offers music instruction in guitar, piano and bass guitar (acoustic, electric or a combination of both) in all genres: Rock, Blues, Jazz and Classical. All levels and ages are welcome.
They also offer piano tuning, repairing and restoration, piano sales and consignment, always having several pianos in stock that are for sale.
Their clients range from private residential, schools (Bethel, Ridgefield, Danbury and North Salem), churches and other businesses.
Since the page was created February 16th, the Go Fund Me website has raised $4,110 of the $20K goalin 49 donations so far. Let’s try and help this Bethel family in their time of need.