Melendez to perform ‘Song for our Mothers’ on May 12


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Tony Melendez, a singer, songwriter and guitarist born without arms, will perform a bilingual concert on Mother’s Day weekend at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

Lindsay Steele
Tony Melendez performs at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City in 2015.

“The concert is a song of thanks to all the moms, for all their love and dedication that they put into the formation of their own sons and daughters,” said Miguel Moreno, diocesan coordinator of Multicultural Ministry.

The May 12 concert, “Song for our Mothers,” will feature the Nicaraguan-American musician’s signature mix of popular songs, original songs and inspirational messages. Melendez plays the guitar with his feet — sometimes with a guitar pick, other times plucking the strings with his toes.


Melendez has performed for three popes and regularly performs around the world, sharing a message that obstacles in life — such as being born without arms — can be overcome. Melendez has performed at least five times in the Diocese of Davenport over the past 30 years, most recently in 2015. This is the first time Melendez has performed a Mother’s Day concert in the diocese, Moreno said.

Melendez is inspired by his mother’s love, Moreno said. “She taught him to be strong and helped him in all his development.” Melendez is also inspired by the Virgin Mary, and will sing a tribute to her at the concert.

Father Rich Adam, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Father Ross Epping, parochial vicar of St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf, will make guest appearances at the concert — Fr. Adam on piano and Fr. Epping on vocals.

Melendez will be giving away an autographed guitar. Everyone with a ticket is automatically entered to win.

Purchase tickets by calling the Office of Multicultural Ministry at (563) 888-4217 or Sacred Heart Cathedral at (641) 208-2146. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Moreno encourages people to purchase tickets in advance, as limited seating is available.

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