Time to Dig Dan Zanes
Once in a blue moon or once in a millennium I'm able to craft together a pretty decent World Music Show. This week's show could be one of those shows, because there's so much good music in both hours that each hour could stand on it's own as a stellar piece. Ok, maybe as host and producer of the World Music Show, I'm biased, but I'll let you be the judge.
And as they say, the proof is in the pudding--though, I'm not sure where that phrase came from--so here's what's coming up. Dan Zanes & Friends will be the main focus of the first hour. Zanes, who used to be--years ago--in the alternative band The Del Fuegos, now performs a style of music called "Family Music." But before you jump the gun and think that his songs are sappy drecks that will make you run to grab your headphones, I want you to be sure and check out this week's show. I'll feature four of my favorite songs of his off a few of CDs. Plus, a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Zanes.
If you have kids, you may already know him. I have two kids, both under the age of 6 and they both love Dan Zanes, and I do too. Why play "family music" on the World Music Show? Well, Zanes uses musicians from all around the world on his albums. Musicians like Nick Cave, Angelique Kidjo, Marc Ribot, and Philip Glass are just a few. Plus, Zanes, who easily can sing in Spanish, plays music with a World Beat vibe, including beats in west indian folk music and Mexican Son Jarocho. Son Jarocho is a traditional musical style of Veracruz, a Mexican state along the Gulf of Mexico.
Zanes has such a good vibe when it comes to playing music. He'd much rather have you--and your kids--jump up and sing and dance at a show, than just sit and watch. He's all about participation. In fact, on his website (http://www.danzanes.com) he posts video lessons on how to play various instruments. His live shows are something of a get up and stand up event.
And, as luck would have it, he'll be playing at a festival called the DiggityFEST at Westchester Commons in Midlothian on Sunday, September 18th. The DiggityFEST is a festival that is focused on 3-11 year olds. The Diggity Dudes, a Richmond-based “kids band,” is spearheading this special kids music festival. Also on the docket for this event are two nationally recognized kids bands: Hope Harris & The Cousins Jamboree and Silly Bus. But the main headline act of DiggityFEST will be Dan Zanes & Friends.
Besides the music, there will be food and activities for everyone. Be sure to click the link to check for times, location, etc. Plus, the event is for a great cause (you must purchase tickets to attend). Some of the proceeds for the event will benefit Connor's Heroes. are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of volunteers, parents of children with cancer, and other caring individuals and companies who want to conquer childhood cancer through direct assistance, awareness, and research.
For more information on the DiggityFEST, go here.
But, as I said above, I have two-jammed packed hours of some great music. In hour two, it'll be time to get your French Beret and turtleneck sweater out for a full hour dedicated to the music of France (ok, I know, that is a stereotype, but my French experience is limited to Goodard films and the movie Charade).
I'll feature such bands as Lo * Jo, Paris Combo, and Pink Martini, who are from Portland, Oregon. Plus, I'll even play some French music from a couple of luminary figures who gained popularity in other areas. Carla Bruni, you may know has the first lady of France. But she is also an accomplished singer and guitar player (and a former super model, too). And, the seminal 70's artist and cartoonist R. Crumb is also an accomplished mandolin player. He plays, every once in awhile, with a band called Les Primitifs Du Future. Plus, I'll even have a duet of sorts that features both David Byrne and Rufus Wainwright. They do a cover of the Georges Bizet standard "Au Fond du Temple Saint."
So, you can see that this week's World Music Show is packed with some great stuff. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio. You can also get updates on shows as well as get a behind the scenes look by following me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.
To hear a sample of some Dan Zanes, as well as some other tunes from this week's show, click on the audio link.