The Rauch Foundation and Title Sponsor Horizon Wealth Management are thrilled to announce that the 2014 Imagine Awards will feature the talents of entertainer Sujeet Desai. An accomplished musician who was born with Down syndrome, Mr. Desai plays seven instruments: soprano and bass clarinet, alto saxophone, violin, trumpet, drums and piano. He graduated from high school with honors and completed a two-year residential post-secondary study in Music and Human Services at Berkshire Hills Music Academy in Massachusetts. Sujeet lives independently in his home in Niagara Falls, NY.
Sujeet travels worldwide, providing inspirational solo music performances and self-advocacy workshops. Currently, he plays music in community churches, nursing homes, senior centers, and hospitals to bring joy to those who live away from home and family. Sujeet started as a volunteer entertainer in 1998, and the overwhelming response he received led him to decide to make music his career. Since March 2000, he has performed in over 40 states and 13 countries, and he is a recipient of over a dozen international awards for his music and self-advocacy.
Also an accomplished athlete, Sujeet has a 2nd degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and has taught students as the “Sensei” at his Martial Arts school. He won gold and silver medals in the 1999 Special Olympics World Games in swimming and has numerous Special Olympics medals in alpine skiing, cross-country running and bowling.
Two documentaries have been produced on Sujeet's life, and he has been the subject of many TV and newspaper interviews. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and on “The View”, “20/20”, “Oprah Winfrey”, and many local television news segments. Sujeet was honored by the National Down Syndrome Society as a spokesperson for Down syndrome and his story, titled “The Traveler”, was published in 40 magazines nationwide to raise awareness in their campaign. In March 2010, Sujeet was selected as an Ambassador by Down Syndrome International in London.
Sujeet has worked very hard for the past 20 years to become the finest musician he can be, while also working to overcome the limitations of his disability. Music has helped him bridge this gap. With his musical versatility, Sujeet has become a role model and has brought inspiration and hope to individuals with disabilities, their parents, educators, and the service providers that work with them. Sujeet's family takes pride in him for all that he has brought into their lives. Sujeet does a musical power point workshop “My Story: How I improvise my life with multiple intelligences” and has a mission to send a message across the world that given opportunities to focus on their abilities, individuals with disabilities can “Make It Happen!” Sujeet's music is more than just entertainment. It's educational, inspirational and focused to make his MISSION POSSIBLE!