The BCM Guide to New England Children’s Musicians
Whether you’re a parent looking for fun party entertainment, a librarian wanting to spice up your events calendar, or a small book or toy shop thinking about bringing some music into your store, we’ve got the perfect children’s musician for you. All of these artists come pre-approved by Boston Children’s Music and Ivan (the most discerning 5 year old), so just browse through our list to find the right performer for your event!
Alastair plays American Roots music with an energetic beat. He deftly switches between his banjo and acoustic guitar and often plays classics by Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt, but his best songs have to be his originals which are sometimes absurd and always unforgettable.
Ben Rudnick & Friends
BR&F is another American Roots style band,but they mix in elements of rock and bluegrass as well. They’re super family friendly (as in everyone in the family enjoys their shows) and they’re great at getting the crowd dancing. I can’t imagine a summer going by without seeing these guys play live out in a park or at a festival. They are absolutely the best at creating a raucous atmosphere!
Debbie & Friends
Debbie is an amazing song writer who creates songs that are easy to sing along to even if you’ve never heard them before. She engages the kids in the audience and makes everyone feel like they are a part of the show, even the parents! And her buddy and back up singer, Mike, is such a delightful addition to the show!
Ed Morgan (a.k.a. “The Music Man”)
We often see Ed at the Watertown Library where he plays a monthly show. He plays a lot of classic nursery rhyme songs along with some fun originals. He’s great for the preschool set!
The Flannery Brothers
There can’t possibly be another band with more energy than the Flannery Brothers. Their songs are outrageously good and they put on quite a show. I don’t think Dan Flannery knows how to stand still!
Flooky & the Beans
Flooky & the Beans are great fun to watch! They wear elaborate costumes featuring a Robot Rockstar, Organic Beans and a totally Orange Farmer. With great songwriting, their interactive show follows a story line that is both engaging and educational—seriously! High-energy, high concept, truly original and not to be missed!
Green Apple Kids Band
These guys play themed music related to nature and the environment. Their songs are kind of folksy and they’re great at getting the kids up on the stage and involved in the show.
We love seeing jeanniemack play at Finagle-a-Bagel in Cambridge. She plays acoustic guitar and sings all sorts of sweet, catchy songs with a big Laurie Berkner influence. She’s really wonderful with younger kids and can get even the shyest child in the room smiling.
Jeff Jam is a silly guy with silly songs. He plays lots of traditional tunes, like You are my Sunshine or some Raffi songs, but my favorites are his originals because they really reflect his fun personality.
We like to see Jeremy play at Stella Bella Toys in Inman Square. He’s an amazing guitar player and also brings along his banjo, ukulele, kazoo, and harmonica. He has a kind of Woody Guthrie sound and I love his cover of Mississippi John Hurt’s Creole Belle.
Joe’s Backyard Band
Joe’s Backyard Band plays with the motto “All Ages All the Time” and they stick to it! Playing a combination of American Roots, Blues, and maybe a bit of Jazz, these guys have all their bases covered and are sure to please everyone in the family. Their concerts are an amazing collection of musicians and instruments where you can find guitars, banjos, harmonicas, saxophones, and maybe even a flute! Their sound is polished and their shows are energetic and exciting!
Judy’s shows defy description (but I’ll try anyway). She’s full of energy and fun and everyone loves her dance troupe, the Judy Crew. Her songs are sweet and poppy, sometimes silly, and always infectious. Plus you can just tell that she loves what she does (which is probably why she’s been nominated for the 2011 Grammy for Children’s Music)!
Leeny’s songs span a variety of styles, from vaudeville to rock, and each one is perfect. Whether she is performing solo or with her band The Eeny Meenys, Leeny’s concerts are exciting, educational, and highly interactive. I love how she encourages everyone to be a part of the show, dancing and singing with her… and I mean with her on stage and with the microphone!
Sarah Wheeler is the heart and soul behind Little Groove and her style is very melodic and soothing. She almost has a celtic sound to her music, which can be very peaceful. I also love her lady bug costume and loveable air about her.
Liz sings songs with great beat and rhythm, which helps the littlest audience members tap along and learn about music. Her songs are fun, but also purposeful—she knows music is a wonderful teaching tool and she uses it so well!
Whether it’s under the moon singing a lullaby, in the garden building fairy houses, by the sea watching dolphins swim, or on the farm growing veggies, Maria challenges us to be our very best and to be stewards of the planet at the same time. Maria’s songs are earthy and teach children about the sea, nature, and the environment, but with a lot of fantasy and imagination thrown in as well.
Mariana is originally from Argentina and sings most of her songs in Spanish. Her songs have a fun jazzy flair without being heavy or inaccessible. A lot of her songs have almost a bossa nova feel to them that make everyone in the audience sway to the beat.
Scott’s got that good ‘ol rock and roll thing going. With not much more than his guitar and his voice he can get a whole room of kids rocking and singing along. He does a lot of shows at Boston area libraries and puts on an awesome environmental show.
Stacey is a devoted mom who writes songs about being a mom and being a kid. She’s one of those musicians who just gets it. When she sings about a mother watching her child grow or the love a sister has for her brother, you know it’s from the heart.
Steve performs mostly in New Hampshire and he’s got a great reputation as a singer/storyteller for kids of all ages. His CD’s are terrific, with songs that tell stories, teach lessons, and totally rock! He writes the kind of songs that are fun to listen to and are quickly addictive.
SteveSongs is a huge draw in these parts—and just about everywhere else, too! And for good reason! Steve’s a brilliant song writer and possibly an even better performer. It’s impossible to leave a SteveSongs concert without feeling happy.
The Toe Jam Puppet Band
The Toe Jam Puppet Band has a long name because it takes that many syllables to cover all the energy these guys put into a show. They rock, they dance, and they get the kids jumping and singing. They’re one of the best at getting a crowd excited!
Vanessa is an amazing artist with amazing stage presence. She’s the real deal when it comes to performing, but she does it all with such passion and grace that you sometimes feel like she’s putting on the show just for you and your family. Vanessa is certainly a must-see act!
Wayne is one of the hardest working guys in the business—he’s got shows all over town! And all that hard work really shines through in his polished and refined concerts. We also love his fiddle player who’s super talented and super cute all in one package!