KINDIECOMM 2016 by Katherine Dines and Jonathan Sprout

Members Katherine Dines and Jonathan Sprout teamed up to provide this recap of KindieComm.

Our newest CMN family members: Chibi Kodama performing at the Kindiecomm showcase
Our newest CMN family members: Chibi Kodama performing at the Kindiecomm showcase

Philadelphia, PA, April 1-3: The third annual Kindiecomm was one rockin’ weekend! Mega-thanks are in order to Robert Drake and Kathy O’Connell, a dynamic duo from WXPN Radio, who host and produce “Kid’s Corner,” a daily syndicated hour-long radio show for children. Robert and Kathy are among children’s music’s strongest advocates. Every year the event grows stronger. “Kindiecomm” refers to the community of people centered around the making of children’s music.

Many Kindie artists are “indie” artists– independent (self-employed) songwriters and recording artists who work in various geographical pockets around the world. Like CMN’s conferences and regional get-togethers, Kindiecomm creates a place where like-minded people network and encourage each other.

Friday evening featured a networking social gathering.

Kathy O’Connell introducing the weekend, and “keynote, Bobbi Kumalo
Kathy O’Connell introducing the weekend, and “keynote, Bobbi Kumalo

Saturday began with Kathy’s on-stage interview of veteran children’s musician Robbi Kumalo— better known as Robbi K.

Next came a discussion about the Recording Academy and its many facets, including its charitable activities, lobbying efforts on behalf of music makers, and the Grammys. On the panel were Mark Shultz, director of the Philadelphia Recording Academy chapter, Regina Kelland, and Jonathan Sprout.

Over lunch, Kathy interviewed jazz pianist and nonagenarian Bob Dorough who wowed us with his music and stories about Schoolhouse Rock, Miles Davis, and beyond.

Breakout sessions included: The Business of Music, led by Michael Napolitano and Jay Sand, and Maintaining Your Fan Base, led by Jason Didner and Michael Welke. The afternoon ended with a session about Puppets and Props featuring Yosi, Kevin Kammeraad, John Hadfield, and Steven Erdman.

Yosi and his sidekick— puppeteer extraordinaire Kevin Kammeraad
Yosi and his sidekick— puppeteer extraordinaire Kevin Kammeraad

The evening Kindiecomm Showcase featured performances by: Ernie & Neal, The Boogers, Chibi Kodama, Lard Dog and the Band of Shy, Rita Rosa, the Sugar Free Allstars, The Green Orbs, Lucy Kalantari and Poochamungus.

Three bands were featured on Sunday: Duke Otherwise, Laura Doherty, and recent Grammy winner, Tim Kubart.

Family music is thriving on the east coast. Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, is the perfect location for Kindiecomm, and World Cafe Live is an ideal venue.

There were many CMNers in attendance this year: Dave Kinnoin, Patricia Shih and Stephen Frickenbacker, Jason and Amy Didner, their daughter Holly and Jason’s parents too, Uncle Devin, Andres, Two of a Kind’s Jenny and David Heitler-Klevans, Tim Seston and son Luke, Marsha Goodman-Wood, Yosi, David Perry, Audrey Engdahl, Vivi Melody, and Jessica Smith (AKA) The Culture Queen… oh and the writers of this overview,

Jonathan Sprout and Katherine Dines!