Hooray for Kindiecomm! This is an event coordinated by Kathy O’Connell and Robert Drake of WXPN Radio. Their Kids Corner program is one of the longest running and most successful children’s music shows being broadcast today. Hosted at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Kindiecomm is a rare opportunity for pockets of musicians who specialize in making music for families across the country, to come together, share music, network and strengthen relationships. Because I have a sister-in-law outside of Philly, I had another good excuse to attend. Because of the family stuff, I didn’t make it to all events.
Nevertheless, here are a few highlights garnered from my other family:
- Friday night’s Songshare. Robert rented a conference room at the Sheridan so anyone who signed up before, could hop up and perform a song. (I didn’t know about it and could have been added to the list, but opted not to since my slot would have at the end and well after midnight). There was a relaxed honest vibe there thanks to the efforts of Karen K (Kalafatas), Chicago’s Little Miss Ann (Toralba) and percussionist Uncle Devin (Walker) bringing it all together.
- Interviews. Or rather casual conversations between Kathy O’Connell, Trout Fishing in America,(Ezra Idlot and Keith Grimwood), Dr. Demento (Barry Hanson) and Osaka Pop Star’s frontman, John Cafiero, who’s producing a Demento compilation.
- Mentoring. Kindiecommers could connect with pros for info and mentoring. Bring on veterans Barry Lois Polisar and Trout Fishing in America and a light of the east coast, Joanie Leeds!
- Open Stage. People could share stories, ask questions and address issues facing children’s musicians.
- Three afternoon sessions: 1) using multi media, 2) building home studios, and 3) meet ups for those musicians living in different time zones. Being somewhat isolated in CO, I was glad for the opportunity to pair faces with the music I know, and meet some newbies too.
- Sat night’s “industry”showcase. Rather than a showcase for industry peeps, it was a fun rockin’ concert of short 3-song-sets by some great talent. Hearing and seeing the amazing diversity within our genre is always one of my personal Kindiecomm highlights. My personal faves included: Billy Jonas. He performed a fabulous set that would appeal to any age group using recycled plastics. Miss Nina (Stone) sang along while reading the classic book “Brown Bear.” And she invited me to be on her weekly show. We videoed my song “Muscle and Bone” together the next day. Saul Paul created musical hip hop tracks and looped them on the spot. Then he rapped lyrics into the groove from words spontaneously shouted out from the audience. Little Miss Ann made a quasi political dent with her “Stand Up All You Children” and I can’t forget 2017 Grammy Latin Award-winner Mister G (Ben Gusterman), who sang his fun Spanish song about Chocolate, while his lovely wife, another Katherine, (all done up in a purple wig) moved right along. Good music and fine times were shared by all.
Kindiecomm will most likely continue every other year and there is chatter of creating regional Kindiecomm that would occur simultaneously on the “off” years.
When you write and perform music for family audiences, it often feels like you live on small somewhat lonely planet. Thanks to Kindiecomm and Children’s Music Network, there are two opportunities for like spirited talent to connect. Thanks Kathy and Robert for recognizing Children’s Music for the awesome genre it is and bringing us together!
Interested in checking out photos from the event? Click through HERE.