Summer Festival Fun & Games !

Claudia and I will be appearing at these fests in June…

Sea Music Festival


Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival

We’ve been in top form lately, join us if you can!

Your friend,



Five Things: Haitian Music, A Wedding Ring And A Grammy With Dan Zanes on Louisville’s NPR News Station WFPL, By Tara Anderson

Greetings friends!

This could easily qualify as “way too much Dan Zanes” but if you want to hear me talk about 5 important things in my life this is your chance – listen to this interview!

If you want the list but not the chatter, here it is:
1. My first guitar
2. My new wedding ring (and all that it stands for!)
3. My Haitian LPs – particularly Nostalgie by Leon Dimanche
4. The book Dismantling Racism by Joseph Barndt
5. My Grammy award…

I had so much fun speaking with Tara Anderson that I forgot it was an interview. As a result it gets a little more personal than usual! Thank you Tara and NPR affiliate 89.3 WFPL News Louisville….

Your friend,



Dan Zanes is bringing his newest show to McCarter Theatre!

Greetings Friends and Neighbors!

The journey continues! This Saturday, February 3rd, we’ll be in Princeton, NJ with Night Train 57, our Sensory Friendly Folk Opera. Here’s an article that helps set the mood: A Musical Journey for the Family: Dan Zanes is bringing his newest show to McCarter Theatre

Night Train 57 was co-commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and VSA and had its world premiere at The Kennedy Center in October 2017.

Special thanks to Roger I Ideishi, JD, OT/L, FAOTA, Director of the College of Public Health’s Occupational Therapy Program, Temple University. Co-commissioners include The Whiting/Flint Cultural Center Corporation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Additional development of Night Train 57 took place as part of The Harmony Lab program at People’s Light in Malvern, PA.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Princeton!

Your friends,

Dan and Claudia

Washington Post: Dan Zanes on Sensory Friendly performances

Greetings Friends,

I am happy to share this Washington Post article with you: “Dan Zanes on why sensory-friendly shows are ‘the future of family entertainment’”.

We are grateful to be a part of the sensory-friendly movement and thank all the presenters we have worked with for making the decision to open the doors a little bit wider.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at our party where everyone’s welcome!

Your friend,



New Video: Dan Zanes and Friends – Red Bird

The Red Bird has landed!!!
I’m so happy with this video…
Thank you to my brother-in-law Donald Saaf and to Dan Folgar for making this wild piece.
Thank you to my sister Julia Zanes for making the puppets.
Thank you to Ashley Phillips and Azalia and to Dan’s son for the awesome cameos.
Thank you to MC SHAISLIKE for the lyrical prowess.
Thank you to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings for making it all possible.
As always, thank you to Leadbelly, the father of modern family music (among other things), for the inspiration!

Your friend,


Lead Belly, Baby

Strathmore, Chicago, Austin, NY + Big Video News

Greetings Friends, Neighbors, and Other Party People!

I have some exciting concert updates and some equally inspired video news.

+ Elena Moon Park just made a new video for the Korean New Years song Sol Nal

+ Sonia de los Santos is about to film a new video this Saturday. Would you like to be in it?

+ Is there a family band in Chicago that would like to join us for a song next Sunday at the Old Town School?

+ DZ will be in Strathmore, MD this weekend and Chicago next weekend!

+ Sonia is going to play Austin Kiddie Limits!

Let’s get right to it….

Here is the link to Elena Moon Park’s brand new video for the song Sol Nal (I like New Years). Can you guess who’s house it was filmed in?

If you want to be a part of Sonia’s new video, please see the listing below for her show in Battery Park this Saturday at noon.This is your chance to shine! The show ends at 1pm, everybody will take a short break and then shoot the video at 2pm.The song is “Esta es tu Tierra (This Land is Your Land)” so if you want to practice beforehand just put on her music and belt it out!

I’ll be playing in Chicago at The Old Town School of Folk Music next Sunday, October 2nd. Do you have a family or neighborhood band? Would you like to join us for a song? Please send me a video or audio clip at I’ll do a random selection in a few days, it’s not a competition just luck of the draw. If your band is chosen you’ll get free tickets to the show. I’ll be performing with the amazing Haitian-American singer Claudia Eliaza and I can’t wait to get back to Chicago!!

Here’s the calendar……

Saturday, Sept 24, 12PM
The Sonia de los Santos Band
Battery Park, New York, NY

Sunday, Sept 25th at 5:30pm
Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour with Ashley Phillips
Amp by Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD
This is a pajama party….What a perfect way to end the weekend!

Sunday, Sept 25, from 12-5pm (show time TBD)
Elena + Sonia: Songs from East Asia and Latin America,
The Women’s Building
New York, NY

October 2nd at 10am and 1pm
Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour with Claudia Eliaza
Old Town School of Folk Music
Chicago, IL

Friday, October 7 at 2:30PM
The Sonia de los Santos Band
Austin Kiddie Limits
Austin, TX

Saturday, October 8 at 2:30PM
The Sonia de los Santos Band
Austin Kiddie Limits
Austin, TX

Saturday, October 22 at 2PM
The Sonia de los Santos Band
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn, NY

You know how much I like to use the word FESTIVE and I’m going to use it again….

This fall is looking positively FESTIVE!

I hope to hear you singing along you soon….

Love Dan

Sonia and the Latin Grammys + Wassaic This Weekend!

Greetings Friends and Neighbors and Lovers of the Summer Sun,

I want to give you two pieces of August news before I go back to the front steps with my guitar.

Sonia de los Santos and her incredible award winning, Spanish language family music CD, Mi Viaje, are on the Latin Grammy ballot this year in three categories!
Mi Viaje is in the Best Children’s CD category
“La Golondrina” is in the Best Regional Mexican Song category.
And Sonia is in the Best New Artist category.

Are you a voting member?
Do you know voting members?
Will you help us spread the word before voting ends on August 12th?
Muchas gracias a todo, thank you very much everybody!
Buena Suerte Sonia!!

The final summer show takes place this weekend.
I’ll be performing with Ashley Phillips at the Wassaic Festival in Wassaic New York.
It’s The Song Gusto Hour and you know what that means:
Bring your voices, dancing shoes, and any instruments that you play.
It’s going to be a party!

Sunday, August 7th at 1:00PM
The Wassaic Festival
The Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour with Ashley Phillips
Wassaic, NY
One final thing… I’m stepping up my social media game with a lot of clips of home versions of songs.

It’s been tons of fun.

If you want to join me for the ride, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are rocking right now.

I hope to see you out on the front steps,

Love Dan

Upcoming Shows from Dan Zanes, Sonia de los Santos and Father…

-Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

Since the beginning of the family music adventures in 1999, the shows have always been our biggest source of inspiration and joy.

We’ve been through a lot with so many of you over the years and it’s impossible to describe how much it means to be, in some small way, a part of your family lives.

Regardless of political, social, or spiritual affiliations, we can probably all agree that these are some challenging times we’re living in!

So, this summer I’m especially grateful to be able to look out from the stage and see you all singing and dancing with each other…

In those moments I have a sense of life’s best possibilities.

Here are some upcoming shows:

Thursday, July 14th at 10:30am
Madison Square Park
Sonia de los Santos and Friends
New York, NY

Saturday, July 16th at 11am
Dan Zanes and Friends
Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
Dan Zanes and Friends

Sunday, July 17th at 2pm
Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen, MI

The Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour with Elena Moon Park

Sunday, July 24 at 3:30 PM
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Father Goose and Friends
Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, July 27, 10:30 AM
Sonia de los Santos and Friends
Summerstage Sunset Park
Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, August 7th at 1:00 PM
The Wassaic Festival
The Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour with Ashley Phillips
Brooklyn, NY

Thank you for all your love and gusto!!

Love Dan

Dan Zanes and Festival Five – A Wild Musical Spring!!

Spring greetings to all friends and neighbors!

I’m so proud of the family music that my label, Festival Five Records has made since 2000 and I count being able to release solo CDs from Father Goose, Sonia de los Santos, and Elena Moon Park among the crowning achievements.

There is so much happening with all of us these days and it’s time to change the nature of this newsletter.

So, for those of you wanting some homespun 21st century all-ages music that begins to reflect the world we live in, here we go as the Dan Zanes Newsletter becomes The Festival Five Newsletter!

On the menu:

+ The Dan Zanes and Friends Lead Belly Project at Celebrate Brooklyn June 11th
+ Parents Choice Gold and a new video from Sonia de los Santos

+ Father Goose’s DJ Mix Tapecast on YouTube

+ LADAMA in Brooklyn May 20th

+ Shows and more shows from all of us…

Brooklyn is our home and Celebrate Brooklyn is our most important summer concert series so of course we’re beyond excited to be bringing The Lead Belly Project to The Bandshell on Saturday, June 11th at 4pm.

This is our house party / barn dance / campfire / approach to the children’s music played by The King of the 12-String Guitar.

I consider Lead Belly to be the Godfather of modern children’s music and he’s certainly been my main man since the very beginning.

Thank you Celebrate Brooklyn for giving us the chance to revel in his songs!

Click here for more information.

Sonia de los Santos is on fire!

First a Parents Choice Gold Award for her new CD, Mi Viaje, and now a new video.

If you want to read why the people at Parents Choice feel so strongly about her music click here. 

And if you want to see the essence of soulful homemade family entertainment it’s right here in her video for the song “Chocolate.”

Father Goose has been a DJ for as long as I’ve known him. His skills are a wonder to behold.

If you want some Goose DJ Mix Tapecasts for your dance parties or car trips he’s cranking them out and they’re great.

(I recommend making a cardboard stand-up of Father Goose to prop up near the stereo… a nice option).

Elena Moon Park been helping to organize a group of four musicians from Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela & Brooklyn who have united to form a band called LADAMA.

Their mission is to promote women’s empowerment by encouraging creative expression among youth across the Americas.

They’ll be performing two different shows this Friday, May 20th at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. The 7pm show includes young dancers from El Puente.

This group is highly recommended. For more information you know what to do: Click here…

We’re wrapping up the Lead Belly record for Smithsonian / Folkways. Chuck D. and Valerie June are among the special guests.

I love it so far and hope you will too…..

Spring turns into summer in the blink of an eye and that means….. Shows!!

Saturday, May 21st at 10:30am and 1:00pm

Dan Zanes and Ashley Phillips

The Song Gusto Hour

The Banff Centre Children’s Festival

Banff, Alberta | Canada


Saturday, May 21st

Sonia de los Santos at 12pm

Elena Moon Park at 1:30

The Ittie Biddies at 3pm

Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing 

New York, NY


Saturday, June 11th at 4pm
Dan Zanes and Friends – The Lead Belly Project
Celebrate Brooklyn 
The Prospect Park Bandshell
Brooklyn, NY


Saturday, June 18th at 2pm
Dan Zanes and Friends – The Lead Belly Project
North Adams, MA

Sunday, June 19 at 11AM
Sonia de los Santos
The Jalopy Theater 
Brooklyn, NY


Thursday, June 30th at 10am
Father Goose
Madison Square Park
New York, NY

Thursday, July 14 at 10:30 AM 
Sonia de los Santos
Madison Square Park
New York, NY

Saturday, July 16th at 11am
Dan Zanes and Friends
Ravinia Festival
Ravinia, IL

Wednesday, July 27, 10:30 AM
Sonia de los Santos –
Summerstage Sunset Park 
Brooklyn, NY

I’m thrilled to be signing off on the first Festival Five Newsletter and I thank you for all of your years of support and enthusiasm.

The best is yet to come, please join us on this musical ride!!

Love Dan