Dubstep icons join forces to help dreams come true for sixteen-year-old DJ battling cancer
Tanner Seebaum playing Whomp Truck First Friday.
Update, 7:30 a.m. 6/28/13: After the Dreams Benefit Show at Cervantes last week, Tanner Seebaum, the sixteen-year-old boy battling brain cancer, received an invite to play during Electric Daisy Carnival at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's Rehab pool party in Las Vegas. And now today, Beatport has tapped the young man to perform a live streamed set this afternoon prior to Blond:ish and Sagar V. Tune in at 3 p.m. (and be sure to use hashtag #Beats4Tanner on Instagram and Twitter).
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Original item, 12 p.m. 6/17/13: Tanner Seebaum, a sixteen-year-old Colorado resident battling brain cancer, wants to play as many shows as he can before his body can no longer take it. When DJ Ishe (aka Nate Lappegard) heard about Seebaum's plight and subsequent goal, he immediately sprang into action and offered the young rising DJ a chance to perform at one of Whomp Truck's First Friday events.
"Here I am in the music industry for eighteen years," says Ishe, "and here is this guy, and all he wants to do is what we do all the time. It really humbled me." says Ishe, who booked Seebaum to play at Whomp Truck, where the sixteen year old DJ was asked for autographs after his set.
From there, Ishe and the Denver dubstep community have now all come together on Tanner's behalf, and together with Reid Speed and Downlink (both of whom are donating their time), they're going to make more of Seebaum's dreams come true, mixing dubstep alongside some of the biggest names in the game.
"I wanted to give him the experience of playing the best music in the world at the best place to hear it in the world, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom," says Ishe, who reached out to fellow dubstep producers and game-changers Reid Speed and Downlink, both of whom have been destroying sub woofers for better part of the last decade. They have both agreed to donate their time to come share the headlining set with Seebaum.
"For me, doing this sort of thing feels natural," says Downlink (aka Sean Casavant), "and I feel that anyone in my position would do the same thing." Speed, meanwhile, the founder of the famed Play Me Records imprint, notes that "Music is a really therapeutic thing in life. It's about what's important, and when it means this much to someone that it could complete their life, with artists they love... that's what music is about. It heals people. It brings people together."
After their son was diagnosed with an Ependymoma (brain cancer) shortly before his second birthday, Tanner's parents Matt and Stephanie Seebaum started the Tanner Seebaum Foundation to help fund brain cancer research soon. Over the years, through various treatment methods, surgeries, remissions and relapses, Tanner has grown into his own man, and now soaks up as much energy as he can from the music he loves.
"He has an amazing outlook," Matt marvels. "Once he's up deejaying, it's all he wants to do." Tanner has recently developed paralysis on his right side, which limits his mobility, but the chance to keep playing "might be what has helped Tanner make it this far," Matt points out.
Last year, Tanner showed interest in deejaying and wanted to join the Global DJ Academy. Know then as Colorado DJ Academy, the school was in the early stages and founder Walt White wasn't prepared to take on students. But when he heard about Tanner's passion and condition from his father, White immediately cleared his schedule and took the young man as an apprentice of sorts.
Now, with several slots under his belt thanks to White, Tanner is getting as much exposure as possible, and as Ishe pointed out from the Whomp Truck set, "the kid is good, like, it surprised me. He probably jumped through five tempos in his set -- clean mixes. It was an honor having him play in our truck."
Tanner's doctors at the Children's Hospital Colorado are hesitant to set a timeframe because he has fought through so much for so long. Having powered through so many treatments and surgeries, Tanner doesn't let go, and with dreams coming true thanks to Denver's supportive music community, he is reminded that he is not alone in this battle.
"Dreams -- A Benefit for the Tanner Seebaum Foundation" came to be thanks to Ishe's involvement, notes Matt. The organization "didn't really have much to do with the show," he offers. "That all came together because Ishe and the whole music community just joined forces. It's really amazing seeing that happen."
The show, which is slated to take place this Wednesday, June 19, starts at 8:30 with Fury, Ishe, DirtMonkey, Reid Speed, Seebaum and Downlink all throwing down banging sets. Tickets for the night are only $15, and proceeds go straight to the Tanner Seebaum Foundation to further research in pediatric tumors of the brain and spine.