He’s only 24 years old, but American pianist Matt Savage has had a 15-year professional career as a jazz musician, playing with some of the biggest names in jazz including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis and Chaka Khan. People Magazine described Savage as a “…jazz phenom (who) unlocks a door to genius using 88 keys.”

Savage is a guest speaker and performer at the Inclusion Expo on June 8, which has been organized by the Inter-Agency Network on Disability.

Colette Acheson, executive director of the Yukon Association for Community Living, is a co-organizer of the expo. She says the event showcases programs and services that positively impact the quality of life here for people with disabilities – from early childhood development support, resources for public and post-secondary students, sports to challenge skills and build a healthy lifestyle, support for employment and social programs that help people to experience friendships.

“Many of the exhibits, displays and speakers demonstrate some of the many ways that people with disabilities are welcomed and supported in the Yukon,” Acheson says. “This one-day expo gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on the excellent services available.”

At the Inclusion Expo Matt Savage will speak about his personal experiences with autism, the supports that have helped him and the impact of music on his quality of life. In addition to being a jazz pianist, he is also a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and teaches at Applied Behavioural Learning Services, a Boston-area school for children and adults. His early struggles were met with effective support and interventions, opening a world of opportunity and success, an apt story-in-process for the Inclusion Expo.

The event also features representatives of various non-profit organizations, government departments and private businesses supporting individuals with disabilities, all sharing information on programs and services throughout the afternoon and evening.

Matt Savage will speak at 5 p.m., followed by the Mayor’s Awards at 6 p.m. Vitality and Mindfulness coach Linda Lamers will host a free workshop, Ease and Energy for Caregivers, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Inclusion Expo has been organized by the Inter-Agency Network on Disability, which is a coalition of nine agencies in Whitehorse that are providing services for people with disabilities in Whitehorse. This includes Autism Yukon, the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY) and Challenge Disability Resource Group.

The expo will be held at the Canada Games Centre on Wednesday, June 8 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Matt Savage will close the event with a musical performance from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.