Monday, May 23, 2011

Seattle-area people: Free kids' concert at Northwest Folklife Festival

We attend the Northwest Folklife Festival every year- mainly for the food (delicious food of every type, and wonderful strawberry shortcake), but we also love the music and people-watching. Next Monday, Memorial Day, there's a free kids' concert going on, featuring some of the most fabulous kids' groups! Details below. We're definitely going to be at this concert- hope to see you there!





“Seattle:  Ground Zero for Cool Kids’ Music … the Seattle kids’ music scene is so interesting these days.  Today’s parents, who grew up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, the Presidents of the United State of America and other local wonders, might just be the unwitting witnesses to another Seattle music renaissance, this one in children’s music.” – Martha Brockenbrough,
SEATTLE (April 20) –For the first time in its 40-year history, this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival will have a dedicated Kids’ Stage, and to inaugurate the Kids’ Stage all the members of the Kindiependent collective of Seattle-based kids’ and family musicians will perform!  Caspar Babypants, The Board of Education, Johnny Bregar, Recess Monkey, The Harmonica Pocket, and The Not-Its! will take the stage for a high-spirited, free family concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 30 on the Fountain Lawn Stage (beside the International Fountain) at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle.  Detailed performance schedule is below.
Kindiependent is a collective of like-minded people who are passionate about cultivating a vibrant kids’ and family music scene in the Pacific Northwest. Through creative collaborations and community events, Kindiependent’s mission is to develop a network of family-friendly artists and organizations that supports cultural innovation.

Says Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, "Every Kindiependent event reminds us how important collaboration is to each of our bands. We play in each others' sets, record on each others' albums and just really like each other!  Seattle continues to show the rest of the country what a truly collaborative, diverse and fun kindie music scene can look like, and Folklife is an absolutely perfect place to showcase what we're all doing.”

Caspar Babypants is also known as Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the four times platinum, twice GRAMMY®-nominated rock and roll band The Presidents of the United States of America.  As Caspar Babypants, Ballew makes high quality, thoughtful, simple, acoustic sing-along songs for parents and kids of all ages to enjoy together. Caspar says: “Having young children is a joyous and unforgettable experience. However, the homes of new parents can also be stressful, sleepless, nervous environments. So I make music that's a positive helping component in the home and car, as well as in concert.  I want to help new parents sing to and with their children and provide real, organic, musical relief. I specifically want to make music for the very young because I admire their associative, inventive imaginations, and, as an adult, I nurture that same creativity in myself. I am also involved with non-profits that focus on parent education and outreach to abused, homeless, and neglected kids.” Caspar’s new record, AWAY WE GO!, will be released on September 20, 2011.

Johnny Bregar is known for his engaging concerts that delight kids and parents alike. His original songs and arrangements of familiar children's songs have a rootsy, jazzy, bluesy sound. He has recorded three CDs in his Ballard studio and is heard on two Putumayo compilations, Picnic Playground and A Family Christmas. Children’s music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble) noted, "They Might Be Giants, Elizabeth Mitchell, maybe Laurie Berkner ... that's an all-star list of kids’ musicians right there... So it means something to me when I say that with the release of his third album, Dragonfly, I'd add Seattle's Johnny Bregar to that list."

The critically acclaimed, award-winning trio of Seattle schoolteachers, Recess Monkey, will bring their special brand of  “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor to this show with their trademark Beatles-influenced sing-alongs about friends, animals and SL-DOUBLE-E-P-OVERS. Recess Monkey will offer sneak previews of songs from their soon-to-be released album, FLYING!, and they’ll also perform an array of  fan favorites.  Kids and their parental units will zoom around the room with Drew, Daron, and Jack on “Flying,” join the Monkey Bar conga line (located everywhere), take a soapy ride at the Bubble Factory, and give that loose tooth an extra jiggle with Dr. Wiggle.  From flapjacks to jetpacks and everything in-between, families should be ready for more disco dancing, knock-knock jokes and catchy sing-alongs than you can shake a stick at!  As always, Recess Monkey’s hand puppet band manager Mayor Monkey will be in tow, though he usually doesn't plan what he’ll do on stage until it's too late.

The Board of Education plays kids music just like you remember it. Inspired by Schoolhouse Rock, early Sesame Street and The Electric Company, they create music that is simultaneously intelligent, witty, and musically ridiculous. As premier children’s music website Zooglobble puts it, The Board of Education’s debut record is “like nothing else you’ll hear in the kids music world.”  Kids Music that Rocks said, “Seattle powerpop band Central Services combine their love of melody and hooks with classroom subjects that might otherwise be yawned at by Fourth Graders, to create the ridiculously catchy, funny, and intelligent CD Central Services Presents: The Board of Education!”

When The Harmonica Pocket takes the stage, audiences don't just sit back to be entertained. Their shows deliver highly-interactive experiences that get children (and their grownups) singing and moving in their seats. With swinging story-songs, hula hoops, and a suitcase of props, The Harmonica Pocket mixes music, dance, and imagination games into a gigglish jambalaya. Audiences are invited to become a tree on a windy day, flex creative writing skills by dreaming up lyrics to songs, and make hilarious sounds as they toss around an imaginary "Ball of Nothing." Themed shows include "Get Loose With Dr. Seuss," "Singing Thanksgiving," and "Ladybug One," and contain gentle ecological and pro-literacy messages. The Harmonica Pocket has performed for busloads of children and adults in theaters, classrooms, libraries, and festivals nationally and internationally. Their second children’s album. Ladybug One, is the winner of a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award.

The Not-Its!’ debut album, We Are The Not-Its!, took the kindie rock scene by storm, receiving a Fids & Kamily Award as one of the best family music albums of 2009 – unprecedented for a freshman release. Time Out New York Kids called The Not-Its!’ second release, Time Out To Rock, "the kindie rock equivalent of a summer movie blockbuster."  The band is hard at work on their third album, due out in the summer of 2011, and it's clear they are on a mission to make kids dance, with up-tempo, power-pop hits families love.  Featuring the vocals of Sarah Shannon (of '90s Sub Pop band Velocity Girl), The Not-Its! combine crunchy guitars with smooth, four-part harmonies, all nestled within "fantastic, danceable pop gems about gettin' fancy, the first day of school, bath time and intergalactic playdates."

For more information, please visit and

Performers’ websites:CASPAR BABYPANTS JOHNNY BREGARhttp://johnnybregar.comRECESS MONKEYhttp://recessmonkeytown.comTHE BOARD OF EDUCATION http://thelonelytomato.comTHE HARMONICA POCKET http://harmonicapocket.comTHE NOT-ITS!

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   Featuring the Members of KINDIEPENDENT!
THE HARMONICA POCKET:  11:00 – 11:30 a.m.
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
RECESS MONKEY: 12:30  - 1:00 p.m.
JOHNNY BREGAR: 1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
THE NOT-ITS!: 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
CASPAR BABYPANTS: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

WHERE:             Fountain Lawn Stage (beside the International Fountain), Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington
WHEN:               11:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Monday, May 30
TICKETS:           Free of charge
INFO:         and