Naples amputee guitarist inspires musicians through ‘JamFest’

This weekend, musicians of all skill levels and anyone wanting to listen to them are invited to “JamFest.”

The event is already changing lives, thanks to the inspiring man who started it.

As he moves his fingers up and down the neck of his bass guitar, this is how Rich Conover found a new purpose in life after losing a limb.

“I crashed a motorcycle,” he said. “They couldn’t save the arm. I lost three inches of length in my left leg.”

It was after seeing a video of another man with one arm playing guitar that Conover became determined to teach himself.

“Rich doesn’t do anything halfway,” his wife Jessica Conover said. “As soon as he realized he liked playing music, he just dove in.”

“I learned how to become a musician,” said Conover. “I learned how to perform in front of people, but I wanted to do it more.”

So he started inviting musicians of all skill levels to come together in Naples and share their passion for a purpose.

“Our first JamFest was right after the hurricane in October of 2017,” Conover said. “We raised $3,500 and it made a big difference in the lives of children and people in Everglades City, and that’s how musicians can spread the value of music.”

Now, he’s helping hundreds of people perform through JamFest on Sundays at the Dogtooth Sports and Music Bar. The JamFests are held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“You could come to JamFest and hear blues, country music, reggae, rock,” he said. “We have to get together to have an impact on society.”

Inspiring people to find their passion and share their music.

The next JamFest is Sunday, Jan. 5. For more information, you can visit the JamFest Facebook page.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Briana Harvath
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