Entertaining and educating through silly songs are Steve Roslonek’s specialties. He’s been performing for local audiences for 11 years, and for the last two years has also appeared as “Mr. Steve” on PBS. Kids can’t stay in their seats and parents can’t help singing along with participatory songs about gravity, the water cycle, kindness and other topics that could be heavy, but are refreshingly light. His energetic young backup singers, the Sensational Sillies, are a kid favorite.
Ben Rudnick and Friends
Winners of five Parents’ Choice Awards, this kiddie jam band has a music style all their own. Sort of bluegrassy, sort of Grateful Deadish (not a surprising sound given their apparent obsession with tie-dye) this isn’t music that caters to kids, but to entire families. They combine infectious original tunes like “Race Car”, “Spin” and “Macaroni and Cheese” with classic favorites including Beatles tunes. Oh – and they tour like crazy, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a show.
Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkey
Brookline-based Vanessa Trien has a catchy folk-inspired sound that just seems to draw kids in. Her songs tend to be simple and catchy, inspiring kids to open their mouths and sing along. In the words of a Boston Children’s Music review, “Vanessa’s shows are perfect.” When she’s not giving local kids concerts, Vanessa teaches music education classes at some area elementary schools. She also does private parties.
With titles like “Monsters in the Bathroom” and “50 Ways to Fool Your Mother”, how can a children’s musician go wrong? Harley is an NPR commentator, children’s author and Grammy Award winner, who tells silly, real-world tales of growing up through song. His key to the hearts of both kids and parents alike is in his witty, humorous lyrics.
Debbie and Friends
Relatively new to the local music scene, Debbie and Friends started performing in the Boston area in 2007. Her shows are highly interactive and cater especially to littlest ones. Debbie Cavalier takes familiar children’s stories, like Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, and turns them into original tunes. Her background as a school music teacher shines through in her finely tuned ability to engage her young audience.
Energy, energy and more energy! That’s really the best way to describe this trio of award-winning children’s musicians. Whether they are singing about swallowing a bug or a tattered tambourine, they will have adult toes tapping and kids jumping along. If you think their adrenaline comes through on CD, wait ‘til you see them perform live.