Founded in 2012 by Juno award-winning composer/performer Jesse Stewart, “We Are All Musicians” (WAAM) is dedicated to making music accessible to everyone. The guiding philosophy behind the project is the idea that music is a fundamental human right: everyone deserves to have opportunities to make music, regardless of their level of musical training, income, age, or level of physical/cognitive ability. In order to realize this vision, the WAAM project uses of a variety of adaptive and assistive technologies in conjunction with more traditional musical instruments to foster improvisatory musical interaction, particularly among individuals and communities that have experienced barriers to making music historically, notably children and adults living in low income situations, individuals with disabilities of various kinds, and the elderly. Hasi Eldib’s 2019 documentary Rich Tapestries: The Ongoing Story of WAAM documents some of WAAM’s activities over a two-year period, focusing in particular on a collaborative project with students at Regina Street Alternative School in Ottawa, Canada.
Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, percussionist, visual artist, and educator dedicated to re-imagining the spaces between artistic and academic disciplines, and to promoting health and wellness through the arts. He is also the founder and director of We Are All Musicians (WAAM), an organization dedicated to fostering inclusive music making among disadvantaged communities.