The Kindie Capital

Elena Moon Park and Friends' "Rabbit Days and Dumplings"
Elena Moon Park and Friends’ “Rabbit Days and Dumplings”

Editor’s Note: For more tips on theater in New York City, see our 2014 Guide to Theater & Live Performance and “Let’s Make A Deal

Kindie music is hotter than ever, and many of its best representatives call New York City home. Here, we take a look at some of the many kindie stars based in the five boroughs.

AudraRox: You can hire AudraRox for birthday parties, where you can jam out with fun songs everyone will love. Or look out for her regular performances in New York City.

Bari Koral Family Rock Band: Koral’s music can be found in yoga classes for children and preschool classrooms. Her pop music has earned her a spot on Sirius radio and won her awards. Recently she released her fourth album, “The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee.”

Dan Zanes: Bringing people together through music is Zanes’ mission. Zanes focuses on creating his own songs and bringing old ones back to life.

Elena Moon Park: “Rabbit Days and Dumplings” is the debut solo album for Elena Moon Park and her band. In this album you will hear English along with native languages mixed in. The songs come from China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan to create a twist on kindie music.

Hot Peas ‘N Butter: This band takes their different backgrounds and cultures and morphs them into music. Their Latin, Carib- bean, folk, and rock music have been featured on Nickelodeon and Noggin. Partnered with St.Jude Children’s Hospital, they help bring the joy of music to children. You can hear the band on XM radio or go to one of their shows in New York City and the Tri-State area.

Paper Bag Players The Itty Biddies: This trio will take your family on a journey through music. Their backgrounds in music help create songs that will leave you singing. You can listen to their music on their blog or see them perform in the New York City area.

Joanie Leeds: Leeds has released five CDs and is now working on creating new music. She performs at concerts, classrooms, and birthday parties.

The Laurie Berkner Band: Berkner started as a preschool music teacher recording songs in her living room. After her first re- lease, she founded a record label, Two Tomatoes Records. From there she went on to release more records. Her music reaches out to not only children, but adults as well.

Miss Nina: Miss Nina has combined her passion for singing and dancing and her love for reading together creating an energetic environment whenever she is around! Recently, she has created “book songs” that put books to music. You can find her per- forming at children sing-alongs, bookstores, and other events in New York City or you can watch her weekly sing-along videos on her blog.

mr.Ray: After touring and performing with musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Meatloaf, mr.Ray started focusing on kindie music. His songs are fun—some about friendships, others about dinosaurs—but they also relate to bigger issues, such as bullying. You can find mr.Ray performing weekly in the Tri-State area.

The Pop Ups: Music comes alive at The Pop Ups’ shows. Using cardboard cut-outs, puppets, and sets their audience is always in for a treat. Their music brings joy to children of all ages, and they can be found creating new songs and shows in a Brooklyn garage.

Suzi Shelton: Being a mother of two, Shelton loves to sing and dance around children. She recently released her third album, “Smile In My Hear.” Her style of music is upbeat and folksy. You can find Shelton and her new songs on her monthly webcast. Shelton and her band perform around the Tri-State area and in New York City.

Vered Music: Studying music therapy has taught Vered Benhorin, Vered Music’s founder, that music can bring out emotions and can impact the body physically and mentally. You can find her performing in New York, Los Angeles, and Colorado, or book her for a birthday party.

Willie DeVargas: Growing up in New York City, DeVargas was exposed to a variety of different types of music. DeVargas is a nursery school music teacher (and recent Blackboard Award- winner). Working with children has encouraged him to create an upcoming fall album that coincides with a children’s book that he is working on. DeVargas can be found playing at local hospitals and public libraries and is also available for birthday parties.