Family music pioneer Dan Zanes celebrated this year’s Record Store Day event with an exclusive 7-inch record on yellow vinyl with tracks from his recent album 76 Trombones; timeless tunes that introduce kids to the Broadway songs everyone knows and loves. Side A is a new mix of “Hello Dolly!”, featuring Carol Channing and Father Goose, and Side B is “I Am What I Am”. Limited to 1000 copies. While quantities last. (F4LP01)
greetings friends, neighbors, and lovers of the sun,
the news never stops around here and it’s my pleasure to pass it along to you in all of it’s glory. here’s what we have….
we’re serving up some fresh items around the website: a new photo selection, just added tour dates, our revised songbook and at long last the family band workshop video lesson series.
songbook – we’ve always tried to make lyrics and chords available to you but things got a little loose over the past few years in that department. i’m happy to say that our first printable and readable (that helps!) songbook is now available. here you will find the lyrics, chords and song samples for catch that train. crank up the printers, tune up the instruments and gather your family band together. the other CDs will all appear in songbook form in the next month.
the family band workshop– keep an eye out all summer long for new lessons. I’ll keep making these instructional videos for you as long as I have something to teach. check out episode 1 of the family band workshop here and please email me with any suggestions that you have.
lollapalooza – will we be there? of course we will! colin brooks, elena moon park, and i will be joined by the chicago youth orchestra for 2 shows at this year’s kidzapalooza stage at the festival which is held on august 6-8 in chicago’s grant park. i couldn’t help but notice that chrissie hynde takes the stage right after us on the saturday show.
what else? that’s all for now. thank you for all of the kind words on twitter and facebook and everywhere else that enthusiasm exists!
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rankin don a.k.a father goose (vocals) Rankin Don recalls that when he was a young boy his sister was persistent that he should be involved with music. Being too young to go to the clubs and fetes, he recalls his first experiences and interactions with music as using a mic and singing off of versions. All this before the age of thirteen! That is when it all started.
Notorious Bugs from Gyasi Record Label urged him to record for the mainstream. Rankin Don was already an underground superstar in Jamaica and the streets of Brooklyn. That is where and when he recorded hits like “Cant Find Me Love” and “Sex You Up”? and the big hit “Baddest DJ” which sold over 100,000 copies in the US and abroad.
A year after “Baddest DJ,” Real McCoy was pressed. Known for its unique flavor and jovial hook (Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!) it took the Caribbean and the US by storm, selling over 250,000 copies. He also recorded The Big Race with Roundhead, Screchie Don, General B, and Baja Jedd. Rankin Don has also performed with the best of the best, including, Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs, 2002 Grammy nominee Beres Hammond and past Grammy award winners Shabba Ranks, Shaggy and Beenie Man.
Rankin Don is now a producer for Rock Tower Studios, known for its rich history in the foundation of reggae music. In his other life as Father Goose, he appears on many releases by Dan Zanes.
elena moon park (violin) Hailing from Oak Ridge, TN, Elena began playing the violin and dancing at a young age. She played classical music for many years, until college drew her attention to traveling to far off places, going on long hiking trips, learning music and dance from other countries, and studying American history. After her adventures, she was anxious to add music back into the mix. Although she moved to NYC primarily to complete a Masters degree in Urban Policy, she was also very excited to meet and play fun, spontaneous music with many different kinds of musicians along the way. Now she is happy to be playing fiddle and trumpet (and some mandolin & ukulele!) with DZAF. Elena lived in the hills of Tennessee and the flatlands of Chicago before proudly calling Brooklyn, NY her home. Her interests include dancing, singing, teaching, picture-taking, helping to achieve equitable development in urban America, supporting the arts, and Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”
sonia de los santos (vocals, guitar & mandolin) was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2000, she joined the rock band Esphera as the lead singer and collaborated in their debut album Reflection. As an actress, Sonia has toured nationally in Mexico with the musicals: Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof playing “Hodel”, “Lucy Harris” in Jekyll & Hyde and “Connie” in A Chorus Line. Sonia can be seen in the film Off Jackson Ave as “Semka” and in the short film Furore in the leading role of “Mia”.
She was the lead singer in the rock n’ roll tap dancing show Revolution in their national tour and at the Joyce Theater in 2007. Sonia is thrilled to have been touring with Dan Zanes And Friends as a singer and guitarist since 2007. She appears on their latest albums ¡Nueva York!, The Welcome Table, 76 Trombones and the DVD The Fine Friends Are Here. Lately, Sonia has been recording at home songs she learned as a child in México inviting old and new friends to join her!
Sonia studied musical theater at Circle in the Square Theater School in New York City and holds a BA in Communications from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. www.soniadelossantos.com
Born and raised in San Francisco, Saskia Lane (bass, vocals)began her classical training on the violin at the ripe old age of 4, and took up the bass the day she turned 11. Her musical path eventually put her on a train bound for New York City where she received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School. After graduating, Saskia began exploring other genres and now has her hands in jazz, rock, pop, folk, klezmer and hip-hop. This curiosity for all things music is how she met Dan Zanes. They bumped into each other on the streets of Brooklyn and have been jamming away ever since! In addition to playing with Dan and all his friends, Saskia can be heard playing in and around New York with her new band Hey Sailor! and with her beloved cocktail-pop quartet The Lascivious Biddies. She can also be seen sharing the stage with a wild cast of characters from the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Enya.
Saskia is also active in education and outreach via Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connection program, performing in homeless shelters, hospitals, correctional facilities and senior centers. This coming season she is developing a children’s show for CarnegieKids.
To read more about Saskia’s music and projects visit www.saskialane.com
john foti (accordian) Born in West Cadwell, NJ, John’s first musical experience was figuring out the Sesame Street theme song at a young age. Inspired by his father and older sister, he went on to take piano lessons through college – even when some of the kids said it “wasn’t cool” to play piano. John thought it was cool and kept playing. He’s been playing with DZAF for over 3 years and is thrilled to always be learning new songs and instruments, all while being surrounded by such good friends and musicians.
Hobbies include: thinking, listening to/writing music, sleeping, worrying about what the Yankees score is, traveling, and being forced to try new foods while touring (thanks to the band)! John is involved in several musical groups and often plays around the NYC area when not on tour with DZAF. You can say hello to John at www.johnfoti.com
colin brooks (drums) is from Little Rock, AR. he started playing piano at age 5 and started on the drums when he was 7. after jamming with his father, a self-taught guitarist, he began to form and play in bands with various schoolmates. he moved to Brooklyn in 1998 to join the band Skeleton Key.·
After their demise, he traveled to New Zealand and Australia as the drummer for Bic Runga. after stints with various New York based singer songwriters, drumming on jingles, and playing with the Brooklyn band Sea Ray, he found himself drumming in the off-broadway musical BETTY RULES. that is where he met Dan Zanes in 2003. he has been drumming with Dan ever since. outside of that, he still makes records with the Little Rock based band The Big Cats and records songs of his own in his bedroom. he would like to thank Dan and the friends for all of the fun musical adventures.