By Dylan Glanzer
The following article originally ran in the Manalapan Patch.
It was my extreme pleasure to attend an event in Brooklyn on April 26-28 called “Kindiefest.”
What in the world is “Kindie,” you ask? OMG – you are missing out if you don’t know!! If you have children under the age of 5, you have probably heard of Laurie Berkner or Dan Zanes.
These two are probably the best-known kindie artists. Kindie is a phrase coined by the music industry to mean music done by artists especially for children under 10 years old. Much of it is not in the mainstream commercially – yet. Not because it isn’t fun, upbeat, high-quality music done by talented and unique individuals, but because most of the artists are trying to get “out there” on their own. Some have publicists, many teach music classes or do birthday parties (ahem!), and some play libraries and venues all over, however they can. Do yourself and your kids a favor and check out a few of the greats who were there (all of whom also happen to be CMN members!):
- The Okee Dokee Brothers – Their new CD “Can You Canoe” just won this year’s Grammy for Best Children’s Album! Get it on Itunes or buy the actual album, which contains a video of their amazing musical trip down the Mississippi River. You can also see it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRge0RCBWSk
- Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – She is the next break-out children’s music star; I’m predicting this!
- The Uncle Devin Show – R&B percussionist Devin Walker hails from the DC area, where he is making a name for himself by singing about good character traits, healthy eating and empowering kids through music.
- Ms. Janis – A Brooklyn-based creative movement specialist with two albums of her own, and an awesome voice.
- Melissa Levis – a.k.a Moey’s Music Party – She won a Parents’ Choice Gold last year for her album Princess Revolution!
- Boston-based rock-band headliners Stacey Peasley & Vanessa Trien entertain audiences in their home state and beyond with family-friendly concerts and classes.
- Steve Elci – a Connecticut band leader whose latest project is something called Kidsploration – find out more at his website!
A special shout-out to Uncle Devin and Ms. Janis, who are CMN business sponsors! Click here to find out how you can become a CMN member or receive special notice as one of our business sponsors.
Why a special genre of music just for children? Listen, I love pop music as much as anyone. Love Taylor Swift and Katy Perry too. But the lyrics really are not so appropriate for those little ears. I love how Kidz Bop CDs make pop music work for young children. But there are artists out in this world that are offering another choice here! They are writing pop and rock, reggae and hip hop FOR kids! And it really is good stuff!! I include my own music in the mix – I just finished a rocking new CD for kids!
Please share this article. Comment below. Get a discussion going with your friends. Do you really want three year olds to learn that they are “sexy and they know it?” Can your whole family enjoy music and feel empowered, good about life, and happy to be together? I believe so.
Dylan Glanzer is a longtime CMN member and runs Parties by Dylan, offering musical birthdays for kids.