Monday, May 17, 2010

Charity and the JAMband

Jam is not a food or just a musical genre, it's a way of life for Charity Kahn, front woman of Charity and the JAMband!

When I started off writing this post, I was struggling to find a word to describe Charity. The words multi-talented gets thrown around in the kids music genre quite a bit, and I hesitated to use it in this case as it just doesn't seem to do enough justice. But there isn't a word that sums her up more completely. This is a lady who takes kids music and fun to a whole new level!

Charity is the front woman for Charity and the JAMband. They are a group of six eclectic musicians from varying backgrounds who came together piece by piece to create the JAMband experience. They now have with four albums under their belts (Jam (2002), Peanut Butter and JAM (2004), Rock Your Socks Off (2006) and the brand new double CD Party Like a Twinkle Star (2010)).

Charity (in the pink T) and the JAMband are... Charity Kahn: vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar; Daryn Roven: acoustic and electric guitars, cavaquinho, keyboards; Jake Wood: drums, bottles; Paul Lamb: bass, Mellotron, engineering; Laurie Pomeranz: vocals; Danny Zingarelli: percussion; and Jasper & Silas Crocker, Jonathan & Sophia Roven: kids' vocals!

Charity started off her musical career recording an album for adults while pregnant with her first child. She figured it was do or die time as the demands of motherhood would put any musical aspirations on the back burner. But motherhood does something to all of us that we least expect and before she knew it Charity had her own music and movement class in her lounge room with her own playgroup.

Fast forward nearly 10 years and Charity and the JAMband, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, perform regular gigs in libraries, pre-schools and elementary schools. on top of this, Charity also runs JAMspace which offers music, dance, theater and art experiences for toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-aged kids.

I've had a few email chats with Charity while getting to know her and her music and there is one thing I'm definitely missing out on over here in Australia and that's the live JAMband experience. But luckily for us Charity's clear and true voice will get you groovin in the lounge room via her four albums. There is a little bit of everything in her repertoire, pop, a bit of funky soul, jazz, a folksy blues sound, scat and even a little rap and you'll find yourself dancing around with the kids acting out the lyrics of the songs.

Image: Kids rockin with the JAMband @ Dolores Park

The latest JAMband album, Party Like a Twinkle Star, is split into two discs. The first Party is for when it's time to get up out of bed and start rocking. It's energetic, smile generating music that you just can't sit still and listen too, it requires participation, in fact almost demands it. that's where the flip side to the album Twinkle on the second disc comes in. Starting off with a very zen single note of One Golden Bowl, the mellow almost lullaby tunes and the combination of charity's meaningful lyrics and soulful voice make it perfect chill out and relax music. And I wouldn't be the first to say Twinkle is an album you'd listen too even without the kids around.

Pop on over to the JAMband website to hear Row Row your Boat from Party like a Twinkle Star. It's the current song of the month.

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Click here for more music from Rock Your Socks Off

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Click here for more music from Peanut Butter and Jam

Click here to hear tracks from the first album Jam

Check out Charity and the JAMband's website for LOADS of information on the band, their ethos, music and if your lucky enough to be in the SF Bay Area, where you can find them for a live JAMband performance!

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