Peanut Butter & Jams family concerts spark local parents’ rock-n-roll hearts
I went to my first rock concert when I was 16 – Van Halen at Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands in northern New Jersey. My dad took my friend and me to see the show. Dad had his fingers plugging his ears the whole time. For me the event was life-altering and my dad, even though under heavy sonic assault that night, could see and appreciate that. An important family experience occurred that night.
Thanks to a growing movement called kindie, that’s independent music made for kids, you can take your young ones to their first rock concert a lot earlier — and you most likely won’t be holding your ears. World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington hosts a Saturday morning kindie concert series called “Peanut Butter & Jams,” featuring a different band each week, with a mix of local and traveling acts.
Last fall I had the wonderful experience of performing in the PB&J series with my band the Jungle Gym Jam. We entertained the families who regularly attend as well as the Delaware Parents meetup group and two birthday parties. I was really struck by how well the birthday parties went over and what a great idea it is for parents to host their children’s birthday party at a concert that’s already scheduled. I was more than happy to give the birthday girl and boy (from each of the 2 parties) a birthday shout-out over the microphone! I learned that the audience had been patiently built up over the course of years. This was a cohesive group that really seemed to appreciate the chance to see different bands each week and share the experience with their kids. These parents were rock stars in my book!
I’m delighted to tell you that we’re returning to World Cafe Live at the Queen on Saturday, March 28; I’d also like to tell you about their entire spring lineup of unique family-friendly bands:
March 7-Rolie Polie Guacamole
This is one of the first kindie bands I ever saw, even before my daughter was born. My brother in Brooklyn was taking my niece to the park to see this hip, funny, fun band perform outdoors. These guys always draw a massive crowd in Brooklyn and will deliver a real treat in Wilmington too. Here’s a fun fact: in my very first full-band Jungle Gym Jam show, we covered a RPG song: “Red Light, Green Light!” I also booked them for a performance near my home in northern NJ for the end of March.
March 14-Sugar Free Allstars
How funky can you and the family get! Heavily influenced by James Brown, this unique keyboard-and-drums duo fills the room with sound and energy. TIME Magazine named them among the top 12 children’s music acts in America! You’ve got to hear this Oklahoma-based powerhouse duo to believe it – and they have a lot of fun interactivity to get the kids involved. I’ve got them booked in north Jersey the very next day, but if you’re around Wilmington, make sure you catch them right in your hometown!
March 21-We Kids Rock Band
I’ve come to know a handful of kindie bands who also double as early childhood enrichment schools offering parent-child classes. We Kids Rock teaches everything from movement to early music appreciation to guitar lessons – for the age 0-5 set in the Philadelphia area and throughout Delaware. Catch their band live in concert at World Cafe Live at the Queen on 3/21.
March 28-Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam
Ahhh, yes! My band’s return performance in Wilmington after such a great time last November! If you saw and enjoyed us at that show, you’ll get to hear some of those favorite songs again plus some new ones that we wrote and prepared since the last time we saw you! This upcoming show will have a “beach party” theme to it. Download three of our songs for free ahead of our World Cafe Live at the Queen concert and get ready to rock out with us!
April 11-Play Date
Many of the pioneers in kindie music have already enjoyed mainstream music success and felt a desire to share their love of music with their own children, finding a new facet to their music making. This happened for Greg Attonio of The Bouncing Souls and his wife Shanti Wintergate, who pour their personalities and energy into great songs for kids & families. Check them out on 4/11!
April 25-Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks
Miss Nina first entered my family’s musical life when I searched YouTube for children’s music for my then-1-year-old daughter to enjoy. I believe we were looking for “Wheels on the Bus.” Along came this very friendly, engaging singer with the pink guitar, interacting with the camera as if she could see each and every child who will ever watch her video (that’s a quarter-of-a-million kids by the way!) After being a fan, I later became a duet partner for live shows in Brooklyn and New Jersey and will share the stage with her again this coming Monday in Hoboken, NJ. Miss Nina is originally from Delaware and enjoys great popularity in the PB&J series. Make sure you catch her sunny, wonderful performance this spring!
May 9-The Plants
Spend the day before Mother’s Day rockin’ out with Mom & the kids to the eclectic sounds of Philadelphia’s own The Plants. From just one band in just one show, you’ll hear funk, folk, mo town, do-wop, rock and more. Get your kids moving their minds and bodies with The Plants this May, as heard on WXPN Radio’s Kids’ Corner program!
What was your first rock concert? Your kids’ first concert? Which of these shows will you go to with the family? Comments are welcome below!