JumpinJazz Kids - A Swinging Jungle Tale, Parents' Choice Foundation
"JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale," the new CD celebrating the rich history of Jazz and Popular music by paying tribute to its legendary pioneers through story, song and a variety of musical styles, is the proud recipient of a 2012 Parents' Choice GOLD Award from the prestigious Parents' Choice Foundation – the nation's oldest nonprofit guide to quality children's media and toys. In celebration of the CD release as well as the Award, a special performance took place at The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on October 19th as part of the Museum's Educational Outreach Series.
"JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale" (the CD) is a unique blend of classic storytelling and fun, original jazz/pop songs performed by world-renowned jazz artists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau and Hubert Laws and backed by an energetic jazz quartet and symphony orchestra with narration and voice characterizations by James Murray. "JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale" introduces children to the imaginative worlds of jazz, the spoken word and the symphony in a fun yet educational, engaging and unique way. Produced and created by music industry veterans Steve Barta and Mark Oblinger, "JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale" was released September 25th.
The GRAMMY Museum seeks to educate and to inspire all museum visitors and members as to the enduring qualities and cultural significance of popular and classical music. By implementing a variety of innovative educational strategies; by incorporating the advice and needs of scholastic teachers, locally, regionally, and nationally; and by presenting the expertise of nearly 14,000 Recording Academy members, the GRAMMY Museum offers the most dynamic and exciting educational programs available from music museums today. The education mission of the Museum is to use music as a gateway to learning; inspiring and cultivating creativity, critical-thinking and self-expression.
Barta and Oblinger stated, "We are thrilled to be the recipients of a Parents' Choice Gold Award. Our main goal is to provide quality children's entertainment that fully engages the listener's imagination. "A Swinging Jungle Tale" supports this idea through our "Imagination Is Me!" concept that encourages the listeners to actively visualize the story and imitate the animal dance movements in each song to become a "real" part of the tale. We believe that with the quality of the music, the magnetic performances of the artists involved and the imaginative nature of the story, "JumpinJazz Kids" has something to offer all ages. "
All three artists – Bridgewater, Jarreau and Laws – were equally enthralled with the project and offered their support immediately when approached to participate and their performances from the downbeat let you know that this is no ordinary children's CD. Bridgewater's unparalleled chops are featured on "This Elephant's Gerald," while Jarreau's playful vocals highlight "Do The Monkey Swing" and "Hubert Hummingbird." Laws adds flute to both a song named in his honor, "Hubert Hummingbird" and "Her Name Is Little Growl."
"JumpinJazz Kids" is a unique line of children's music that combines classic narrative storytelling with fun, pop-influenced jazz songs backed by a symphony orchestra. The stories follow the imaginative adventures of a seven year-old girl named Claire and her stuffed animal friends. The first title in the series, "A Swinging Jungle Tale," finds Claire in her Grandpa's backyard jungle looking for a "lost story." Powered by her imagination alone, Claire's stuffed animal friends begin to magically come to life and she learns all about their world … and a little bit about herself along the way. In addition, the music for "JumpinJazz Kids" has been fully-scored for live performances with a symphony orchestra.
With the story for "A Swinging Jungle Tale" already translated and recorded in French, Japanese and Spanish, it is the vision of "JumpinJazz Kids" to develop a series of interactive CDs, books, apps, concerts and educational events nationally and worldwide with the premise being to teach jazz and symphonic history, provide music education, promote children's physical activity through dance and movement, enlighten their understanding of the animal world and most importantly, to allow their imaginations to flow. Concerts have already taken place with full orchestra/jazz quartet in Colorado and Milwaukee and were met with widespread critical acclaim.