He’s been fighting the odds since birth. But a Randolph, Massachusetts man isn’t letting his disability define him or his talents; he’s striking a chord and inspiring people each and every day.
Tony DeBlois brought down the house Thursday at Prairie Hills Golden Living Center in Rapid City. The senior citizens there rocked along as they found comfort in Tony’s music; quite opposite of his early days.
“The first six weeks was absolutely horrible, he put every combination of notes together.” said Tony’s mother and manager Janice DeBlois.
Tony was born severely premature. He was diagnosed blind at 6-weeks-old, autistic when he was 5-years-old and as having Savant Syndrome when he was 15.
“Tony is actually a prodigious savant … given his abilities even if he were quote normal, he’s so high above the normal standard for people,” said Janice.
Now, Tony can hear any note, any key, any chord, or any song and replicate it all by memory.
“I hear the song on the CD player one time but the words take me longer to learn the lyrics of the song,” said Tony.
Tony sings in 11 different languages and plays 23 musical instruments. Make that 24; he learned the trombone Wednesday.
“All you have to do is show Tony the mechanics of how an instrument works and after that he just takes over and is able to do it,” Janice said.
He’s also able to play 8,000 songs by memory. A gift, that’s made Tony an internet and international sensation.
“I like hearing myself on the internet,” said the music prodigy.
But most of all Tony loves to inspire all people to resonate with their own unique gifts.
Tony and his mother take a 30-day national tour each year, ending in Rapid City. This year he’s singing at nursing homes.