ny-times

NY Times July 4th


ny-timesSpare Times: Dan Zanes Jam & Jubille

Laurel Graeber

Dan Zanes plays regularly before crowds of enthusiastic young fans, but don’t think of calling such events concerts.

“It will be more like an afternoon party,” he said of the Dan Zanes Jam & Jubilee he has planned for the Fourth of July. “More like a family reunion.” (Many children would no doubt be delighted to trade in a stuffy uncle for this wild-haired, free-spirited rocker.)

Mr. Zanes’s show in Battery Park will involve even less sitting down than most of his performances. Part of the River to River Festival, it will end with a giant marching band playing “Seventy-Six Trombones,” the title track of the new CD by his band, Dan Zanes and Friends. That parade is to be made up not only of Mr. Zanes, left, and other professionals but also of every audience member who can blow a horn or lift a foot.

“We’re going to try to unearth every trombone player in New York City,” said Mr. Zanes, who added that he would welcome all instruments — including ukuleles. They’re “always a happy sight,” he said.

Mr. Zanes, the former lead singer of the Del Fuegos, who turned to children’s music after he became a father (his daughter is 15), expects his smallest fans to join in too. (Sheet music is on the festival’s Web site, rivertorivernyc.com/events.) “Even if you can only play three notes, you can do it,” he said. As for cacophonous results, he added, “I think musical chaos could be a great sound.”

But it won’t be the only one. The Colombian band La Cumbiamba eNeYé will open the show, and the writer and performer Stew, the Nuyorican rapper La Bruja, the singer Joan Osborne and the Jamaican artist Father Goose will be among those lending their talents, along with jugglers and stilt walkers.

While not expressly patriotic, the music — favorites like “Down in the Valley,” “House Party Time” and “Pollito Chicken” — will reflect a multicultural America. “We’ll be singing in English and Spanish and wanting the entire world to sing along,” Mr. Zanes said.

But children will probably be most attracted to the finale. “I’ve had a lot of parents tell me that their kids want to join my band,” he said. “So this is their opportunity.”

(Sunday, State Street and Battery Place, Lower Manhattan; 888-391-3378, rivertorivernyc.com. Entry at 1 p.m.; music starts at 2; Dan Zanes and Friends plays at 3. Free, but space is limited.)

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