Angelina Ballerina: The Next Step Embraces Music, Dance

Some of the fondest memories from my childhood include the years that I was enrolled in dance class.  I loved ballet and jazz so much that I took my training and lessons with me beyond high school and even danced for several years in college.  And because it’s the end of the school year, it also means that it’s recital season for many little girls (and some boys, too).


With recital season in full swing, coupled with my love for dance, one show that comes to mind for Music Monday is, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, which airs on PBS Kids.  The show is based on the award-winning children’s book series by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craigre.  Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps debuted this past September in full CG animation, incorporating elements of choreography from top dance organizations from American Ballet Theatre to Alvin Ailey.

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Kindiefest Set to Rock Out in Brooklyn

As Brooklyn sets the stage, get ready to rock out this weekend at the second annual Kindiefest.  The three-day kiddie music conference, described by Time Out New York Kids as “a mini South by Southwest for the preschool set,” will feature a public music festival on Sunday.

After growing out of showcases in 2007 and 2008, last year marked Kindiefest’s innaugural year for the family music conference.  The kid-centric music conference, which takes place April 30 through May 2, 2010 at Littlefield NYC in Brooklyn, includes industry-oriented events including the first-night party, keynote, two days of panels and a public festival on Sunday.

Though I try to cover music as much as I can on Monday here on NKT for “Music Monday,” admittedly, I’m such a novice, and am always trying to learn as much as possible about the family music genre.  The conference segment of Kindiefest, geared to artists, producers, labels, and publicists, includes panels such as Old School Meets New School and Gigs and Venues: From Libraries to Festivals and Everywhere in Between. I’m kind of wishing I could sit in on the conference and panels, to learn more about the behind the scenes of the family music industry, and to see what makes these kid music influencers tick.


The Recess Monkeys are among the performers at KindieFest's music festival on Sunday, May 2.


Nevertheless, I’ll be on the lookout for tweets and updates from some of my blogger friends who, I’m sure, will be reporting from the frontlines.  However, I’m most excited about Kindiefest’s festival, which is geared to anyone and everyone that loves music.  The festival will showcase the ecclectic sounds of Bill Harley, Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Clementown, The Royal Order of Chords and Keys and Ralph Covert.  Tickets cost $15 for an entire family, which is quite a bargain considering that many concerts in the area cost more than that for just one ticket!

If you’re in the NYC area this weekend, be sure to help support the family music industry by checking out the Kindiefest public festival.  If you’re heading to the Kindiefest festival on Sunday, let me know!


Kindiefest– The family music festival

May 2, 2010

Littlefield NYC

622 Degraw

Brooklyn NY, 11217

Tickets are $15 (free for infants)

Doors will open at 11:30

Showtime 12-4


Toe Tapping Goodness: Putumayo Kids Jazz Playground Concert Tour

Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains, said John Philip Sousa, the musician who put marching band on the map.

…if only he could see and hear all the tiny little feet tapping and dancing to the rich, vibrant beats at the Putumayo Kids Jazz Playground Concert last Saturday.


a glimpse of the Putumayo Kids Jazz Playground cd's kid-friendly booklet

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Give Your Heart a Valentine

The PBS Kids web property, Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, has launched a fun music video, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“Give Your Heart a Valentine” is an ode to your actual heart, as in the organ that thumps in your chest. Just like all the interesting concepts that come from Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, the music video combines education and a little bit of fun. This new music video provokes kids to learn the significance of the heart and the benefit of healthy eating decisions.

In addition to all the sweet and lovey fun this week for Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out this video and give a little love to your heart!

Ziggy Marley Wins Grammy for Family Time

Last night, our family enjoyed watching the Grammys, which was, perhaps, one of our most favorite award shows in a long time.  Amidst all the fabulous winners, crazy and entertaining performances, there were, of course, a few relevant categories to NKT.

To be a little more specific, Ziggy Marley won the Grammy for best musical album for children.  Marley, now a five-time Grammy Award winner after last night’s win, released his Family Time cd in May 2009.  The album is a diverse collection of reggae-influenced songs.

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Music Monday: A Family Christmas

Way before tracking trends and kid’s products even became a blip on my radar, I stumbled upon Putumayo Kids music at a local gift store.  A huge advocate for diversity and lover of all things music-related, falling in love with Putumayo Kids was a given.

There are children’s music compilations and then, there is Putumayo Kids.  Putumayo’s various cds, which are geared to entertain, educate and inspire cultural curiosity in children, boast upwards to 3 million cds sold and stands apart from other children’s cds.  The compilations are well-thought out and enjoyable for both kids and adults—a must for our music-loving family.

616FLxA340L._SL500_AA240_This fall, Putumayo released A Family Christmas, which I found to be one of the best recent kid-centric Christmas music collections.  Putumayo’s A Family Christmas is a melodic departure from all the character-based songbooks, shows and cds that seem to monopolize the storeshelves, especially this time of year.  The songs on this cd are ones that we know and love, but the artists featured are none that I can recognize aside from Big VooDoo Daddy, (though you might recognize a few) which makes it even more appealing.  Can you think of a better way to enjoy the songs you hear a billion times over during the holidays than with a new fresh take on the classics for kids?

From Johnny Bregar’s acoustic take on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy retro-swing version of Louis Armstrong’s song, “Is Zat You Santa Claus?,” to The Christmas Jug Band featuring Angela Strehli and Maria Muldaur’s “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” Putumayo’s A Family Christmas covers all the music genre on one fun collection.  This compilation truly appeals to music lovers of all ages and from all walks of life!  My only complaint is that I can’t seem to locate Putumayo on iTunes.  Maybe the next one?

My personal favorite on the cd is definitely Mele Kalikimaka by Debbie Davis & Matt Perrine, which I consider a kind reminder and shout out to one of our family’s highlights of the year—our trip to Hawaii this summer to celebrate the kid’s Godmother’s wedding!
Be sure to check out the Putumayo Kid’s site to check out their other award-winning cd collections.  Also, head on over to Amazon to give a listen to A Family Christmas, which is where I sampled this cd myself.  Music is a wonderful gift for everyone, especially cd compilations that have garnered awards like, Parents’ Choice Awards, National Parenting Publications Gold Awards, iParenting Media Award and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.

Without a doubt, after I pick up this cd from Barnes and Noble, Putumayo’s A Family Christmas will be blaring from our speakers on our drive back to Virginia for the holidays.  Putumayo is so cool, they’re offering a free MP3 download!  Just sign up here to receive your free download of the song “Jolly Old St. Nick” by Brave Combo from the new Putumayo CD A Family Christmas.

A Family Christmas can be found at retailers like Barnes and Noble, as well as online.

YGG Premiere Week & There’s a Party in My City

Happy Yo Gabba Gabba Premiere Week, everyone! I know many of you are huge YGG fans like us, and I’m sure you’re well aware that the new episodes begin this week. There’s all kinds of good stuff happening at Gabba Gabba Land, with appearances from funny man, Andy Samberg; our family fave, The Roots and MGMT just to name a few.

Check out this awesome behind the scenes video with Andy:

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Getting Funky for Music Monday

funky kidsHappy Monday, everyone.  We had quite an exciting music-filled weekend, and I can’t wait to share all about it.  But in honor of yet another fun adventure with NKT in mind, I’m happy to announce another weekly editorial focus. Every Monday will be fittingly dubbed, Music Monday, and will feature music-influenced posts.

To start off the first Music Monday, how about some funky, jazzy kids tunes? I recently had the chance to check out Funky Kidz, which is a musical compilation performed by several artists from New Orleans and features covers of children’s songs.  Including classic kiddie songs like “Hokey Pokey” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the award-winning CD includes musicians include such as Ivan Neville of the Neville Brothers; The Radiators; George Porter Jr. of The Meters;  Bonerama, and more.
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