The Musical Maven Behind Moey’s Music Party, Melissa Levis, Takes Her Kidspirational Jams To The National Level
“Every day’s a party!” Melissa Levis, an upbeat musician accompanied by a pink sparkly guitar, greets a circle of babies and toddlers in ruffles and pigtails. Affectionately known by her following of youngsters as Moey, she encourages the eager audience to jingle their bells in time with the strumming of her guitar. And since we’re celebrating President’s Day, she leads a group of about a dozen boys and girls in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” (to the President), a floppy birthday cake hat teetering on her head.
Levis is the leading lady of Moey’s Music Party, a children’s band that sings of fairytales, responsibility, and fun with a kid-power theme. The award-winning Off-Broadway songwriter traded in her notepad for a tiara and a pink sparkly dress in 2005 when she created her lively alter-ego, Moey. The musical maven and her band have received several awards for their “kidspirational” DVDs and CDs, including a Parent’s Choice award. Today, we’re at one of her weekly classes for little ones and their caregivers. And guess what? It proves to be just as fun and stimulating as the many concerts and birthday parties the band holds around the city.
Dan Zanes’ Fiddler Elena Moon Park Wins Over Fams With A Delightfully Different Collection Of Asian-Inspired Kids’ Songs
By Sarah Torretta Klock
Listening to “Rabbit Days and Dumplings,” the new album by Elena Moon Park of Dan Zanes and Friends, is a delightfully strange experience: the music is foreign and deeply familiar in the same instant; wildly contemporary and ancient at once; light-hearted and heart-rending in a single melody. When I played the first song in my kitchen one morning, my three children came running to dance, and, frankly, we haven’t stopped since.
The album is a musical and cultural boundary crossing. It translates and interprets East Asian music for a contemporary Western audience in a way that is infinitely danceable, inviting, and joyous. Listening to it, I could only feel grateful to Elena Moon Park for making it, because it would have been such a shame to miss out on this music from the other side of the world.
The Pop Ups, A Brooklyn-Based Duo, Uses Playful Puppets & A Diverse Repertoire To Conquer The Kindie Scene
By Anna Sims
There’s really no precise label that adequately describes the sound of The Pop Ups, the Brooklyn-based band comprised of Jacob Stein and Jason Rabinowitz. Their song “Winter Beard” is reminiscent of New Zealand’s Flight of the Conchords, while “Connect the Stars” has a dance beat and pop melody that would work on any Top 40 playlist. They cover Frank Loesser’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside”—using two fuzzy puppets as the leads, of course—and channel a jazz vibe for their Halloween tune “Miss Elephant’s Gerald.” Really, we dare you to put one musical label on these genre jumpers (beyond the kindie one).
While it’s difficult to define their music, it’s easy to understand why they’ve garnered national attention in the kindie music scene since releasing their first album “Outside Voices” in 2010, toured with Yo Gabba Gabba!, and earned a 2013 Grammy nomination for Best Children’s Album for their sophomore CD, “Radio Jungle.”