Dan Zanes Playing Celebrate Brooklyn! This Saturday, New Album Coming Soon

Dan Zanes and a Fan (2008)
Dan Zanes and a Fan

The King of Brooklyn Kindie Pop will be returning to his home turf this Saturday (Jul 16) for a big show at the Prospect Park bandshell. Here’s what Dan Zanes had to say about his upcoming gig at the annual Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert:

greetings friends and neighbors!

i want to remind you that we’ll be playing our only new york summer show this weekend. yes! we’ll be at the prospect park bandshell as part of the legendary celebrate brooklyn series on saturday, july 16th at 4pm.

there will be a cast of thousands for this show including the brooklyn symphony orchestra, andrew bird, the bed stuy veterans, shine (of harlem’s shine and the moonbeams), the shumba youth marimba ensemble of seattle and of course dan zanes and friends.

i hope that we see you crazy dancers there! rain or shine it’s going to be a jam… [DanZanes.com]

Dan Zanes - Little Nut Tree

In other DZ news, Dan and His Friends are coming out with a follow up to 2009’s 76 Trombones in the fall. Little Nut Tree will be released on Sep 27 via Festival Five Records. Touted as a return to his “family album” roots, the new record features collaborations with Andrew Bird, Sharon Jones, The Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars and Joan Osborne.

View the full album press release after the jump.




This Fall Grammy-winners Dan Zanes and Friends will release Little Nut Tree, their first family album in five years. As the official follow up album to the 2007 Grammy ™ winner Catch That Train, the new album, which will be released September 13 on Zanes’ Festival Five Records, is a return to the age-desegregated mixed musical bag approach that has earned Zanes his place at the forefront of the family music movement.

Zanes recorded Little Nut Tree in his new homespun studio at Festival Five Records in Brooklyn where friends and guests visited to hang around and collaborate. The album features the multi-talented singer/violinist/whistler Andrew Bird on the original song “I Don’t Need Sunny Skies”; funk/soul singer Sharon Jones brought her powerful voice to play in a duet with Zanes on the Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto R&B classic “Down in the Basement”; West African group the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars came out to Brooklyn for a jam on the album’s title track, a cover of the Melodians’ “Little Nut Tree”; and Zanes’ long time friend Joan Osborne added her Kentucky voice to another original “Everybody’s Going to be Happy.” Zanes also traveled to downtown L.A. to record with the scrappy and soulful youth orchestra of the nonprofit organization The Harmony Project with whom he performed during the winter of 2010. Additional performances come from Zanes’ band (Sonia De Los Santos, Colin Brooks, Saskia Lane and Elena Moon Park), newcomer Shine (aka Shawana Kemp) and many other past collaborators including Father Goose, Barbara Brousal, Bonga, Simon Kirke, Donald Saaf, and Tareq Abboushi.

The original version of the title track “Little Nut Tree” as played by the Jamaican rocksteady group the Melodions has a special place in Zanes’ heart as it was the first recording that he ever played for his daughter Anna. Although she is now 16 she has long been credited as his inspiration to begin creating family music. According to all sources she still approves of his music especially since he and the band performed at Lollapalooza last year.

In 2010 Time Magazine named Zanes “the family music genre’s most outspoken and eloquent advocate.” As this calendar year marks 10 years of Festival Five Records and this is his 10th Dan Zanes and Friends release, Zanes is as inspired as ever. “When I started making family music, or 21st century all ages social music, I wanted to try and create the updated version of the Folkways records I grew up with. They had a homespun mix of old and new songs from a variety of traditions that sounded like they were recorded on someone’s farm.” said Zanes. “It’s been almost 5 years since Catch that Train!, our last release of this type and in that time not only have we done a lot of singing but we’ve danced our tails off! I would say that Little Nut Tree is the grooviest of the DZAF family series CDs although you could still nap to it if you needed to.”

Dan Zanes and Friends will continue their live performances nationwide in support of the new release. The live concerts which the LA Times referred to as a “dance party, hootenanny for the 21st century” continue to receive much acclaim in the US and beyond. Dan Zanes and Friends have performed outside the US in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain and Bahrain. The band tours year round and regularly perform with local groups, particularly youth orchestras and West African drum and dance ensembles. Fans can expect dates in major cities around the release date.

About Dan Zanes and Festival Five Records
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Festival Five Records, the home of Dan Zanes and Friends and their 21st-century handmade all-ages family music. Zanes began exploring age-desegregated music after the birth of his daughter in 1994 and soon after decided to abandon a pop music career, which had included four albums with Boston’s Del Fuegos, to form Festival Five Records, his decidedly independent label, and pursue family music full time. His first release Rocket Ship Beach was an immediate hit with families around America and ten years later the Grammy award-winning artist is known widely as the leading man of the family music genre. Among the several Parents Choice Award-winning, bestselling albums for kids and kid sympathizers are the acclaimed House Party, Night Time!, ¡Nueva York!, and Catch That Train!, which won the 2007 Grammy for “Best Musical Album for Children.” Music videos for Zanes’ songs have aired on The Noggin Network, Sesame Street and The Disney Channel’s “Playhouse Disney.”