Reviews

For the 2000 season we engaged Kinderjazz to deliver a workshop telling the story of jazz for an audience of children aged 2-12 yrs and their parents….. it sold out! I found the Kinderjazz ensemble to have outstanding musicianship as well as the ability to enagage and educate.


- Ross Heathcote, Education Officer, Government House Sydney

The concept is original, the music is stunning, and the talent impressive.


- Kathy McKerrow, Warner Vision Australia

I found the workshops facinating and informative. They cater for a wide range of ability and age groups. I highly recommend them for all students.


- Karen Carey, Head of Music, MLC School, Burwood

I’m very pleased to see Kinderjazz taking their “message” into schools and the wider community…what a bonus for everyone!


- Don Burrows, Legendary Australian educator and jazz musician

Kinderjazz’s new album goes off like a stick of dynamite. Fabulous arrangements, fantastic compositions, played by some of my favourite musicians. Jam packed full of jumpin’ jazz – it’s a party for your kids.


- Monica Trapaga, Jazz singer and icon Australian children's entertainer from PLAYSCHOOL and DISNEY'S PLAY HOUSE

There is something heart warming about watching children enjoy jazz. Adults often intellectualise the music and they forget to appreciate it in it’s purest sense. I sat down with my three year old son to enjoy this recording and it was a hit from the first four bars. On the second playing he was singing along and dancing to many of the great jazz solos. Kinderjazz not only touches that spiritual element of swing essential to all good jazz, but by design, it also remembers that children can learn while having fun. Spin the disc and watch them dance. The children may actually end up showing the adults how to really enjoy good jazz!


- John Morrison, Swing City

Kinderjazz’s newest CD “TU-BABA-LUMA” (the fourth no less) introduces it’s excited young audiences to the rhythms and colours of Latin music while still remaining faithful to it’s original goal of bringing live big band swing music to very young people.

How satisfying it must be to be involved in this fun filled music teaching and be part of the fast growing popularity that Kinderjazz enjoys!

The compositions are catchy, the arrangements colourful and the performance, as expected with these dedicated artists, first class.

The music of Kinderjazz’s ‘TU-BABA-LUMA’ offers ample opportunity for tiny hands to join in on maracas, guiros and tambourines or just dance and move to the rhythms.

It’s audience participation with quality live instrumental music.


- John Speight, Artistic Director, Manly International Jazz Festival

THE WRONG NOTE TANGO is an exuberant celebration of a trumpet player who finds his calling as a singer, a riotous narrative is played out through fun vowel patterns. From cheeky dischordant harmonies that defy prediction emerges a compelling tune so memorable that you will dance the Wrong Note Tango long after the music has stopped. A liberating piece from 9 yr old Imogen for those who like to singo wrongo every now and then.


- Dr Elissa Drew, Gifted and Talented Educator, Sydney

This quirky take on “Sleeping Beauty” is a toe-tapping, body-bopping treat! A jaunty melody lends stong definition to the musical fairy tale, in which all the familiar ingredients of royal palaces, cursed spindles and long slumbers star comfortably alongside trilling witches and the handsome Prince George in orange flares. It’s hard not to sing along to this creative, energetic piece created by 10 yr old Miles!


- Dr Elissa Drew, Gifted and Talented Educator, Sydney

On JACK AND THE BEANSTALK – “A classic tale is given a new dimension by this spirited piece, capturing moods of youthfulness, suspense and ultimate triumph. The story unfolds in cleverly simple rhyme, with which 12-year-old Stephanie creates a delightfully effective “bare bones” narrative. We are treated to a variety of musical styles as the giant – fe fi fo fum! – seems to assume a Scottish character, although dynamic trumpet ensures that these interludes are integrally connected.


- Dr Elissa Drew, Gifted and Talented Educator, Sydney

There is so much synthesised music recorded for kids. It is great to hear a “real band” with real instruments, especially the trombone tracks. Kids don’t usually get to hear this beautiful instrument. Kinderjazz has beautifully produced the unique sound of trombones. I hope it encourages more students to consider playing one.


- Ed Wilson, music publisher, educator, big band leader, arranger and jazz trombonist

There are so many kids shows around today that follow a similar formula. It is so refreshing to hear some live, swingin’ music that the little ones can get their teeth into. Special mention must be made of the great work from the Trombone 6tet – “What a sound!” My son will definitely be getting plenty of this one!


- Dan Barnett, singer, jazz trombonist, big band leader and corporate entertainer

There should be no boundaries to jazz.

It needs to adapt and continue to grow, not forgetting its roots but not bound by them, either. The Australia-based Kinderjazz symbolize the past and future of the genre, respectful of their swing ancestry but unafraid to play in the sandbox. Before you reject Jazz Kings for praising “children’s music,” take note that Kinderjazz are not delivering you canned music or covers; these are new songs with the flavors of old, performed with unbreakable joy and impressive technical skill. There should be a sticker on the CD which flatly states, “Contains no cheese.”

Like to dance? So do Kinderjazz. “Orange Pear Samba” and “That’s Fine” burst with boisterous Latin beats and jubilant saxophones and trumpets. The production is so clear and finely tuned that Kinderjazz sounds like they are partying in your bedroom, which is something all of you will be wishing for once the record has done spinning. Vocalist Debra Dicembre is really fetching, a bundle of unrestrained happiness on “Before I Go Inside” but seductively sad on “Playtime Blues.


- Al Coleman, Jr. Jazz Kings

In an era when many children could be forgiven for thinking that music is solely the product of MP3 players, computers and a myriad of other digital sources, it is refreshing to hear this latest CD from KINDERJAZZ, a group dedicated to presenting live music to younger children. KINDERJAZZ offers children the opportunity to hear quality Jazz and Latin based arrangements in a format that is both accessible and fun, with an emphasis on spontaneity and fine jazz sololing.

The One For Me is a fine sampler of what the band delivers in live performance….my own personal favourites are “Tuba Guy and The Conga Man”, a Tuba/Conga duet , and “Before I Go Inside”, an engaging big band swinger featuring Debra Dicembre’s fine vocal. This CD and the band’s live shows are a great way for children to discover where music really comes from……


- Martin Highland, Freelance Sydney Drummer, percussion tutor at Sydney Grammar and Fort Street High Schools and notable Australian music educator

Spring is here, and so is the bright, bouncy, and buoyant new album from Kinderjazz. Let the sunshine in because that’s what Kinderjazz is all about. As hinted by their name, Kinderjazz are a kid-friendly Big Band from Australia. The group has numerous members – enough to crowd a house, that’s for sure – that are highly skilled musicians performing music which will appeal to the child in anyone. Because they are aiming for the kiddie market, they might not be taken as seriously, most likely unfairly dismissed as a novelty act. No, not at all. Kinderjazz are simply taking styles of music often targeted towards grown-ups and wrapping them up in the most delectable bubblegum.


- Midnight Jazz Review, Vivian Fields

Perhaps there’s nothing better to steal jazz away from the snobbery of its most hardcore and vocal followers than a genre experiment geared towards children. And what could have turned out to be cheesy and artificial is an invigorating blast of timeless, authentic jazz.

“Swing Right Through This Town” from Kinderjazz (http://www.kinderjazz.com) will probably be one of the most unique albums in your record collection. Formed in 1997, Kinderjazz is actually a real band from Australia that plays children’s music with the versatility of a tight, veteran unit. Featuring songs arranged by David Llewellyn and Arthur Greenslade (of Shirley Bassey and Englebert Humperdink fame), “Swing Right Through This Town” has actual musical chops along with colorful, playful hooks that will reel in the kids.
The Latin-flavored “Jump” is an infectious exercise track with blaring horns and winsome male/female vocals. It’s a joyful opening cut that immediately displays the group’s instrumental skills while setting the lighthearted tone for the rest of the CD. “Bugs in My Body” is twisted and silly, just what children love but adults will dig its novelty factor as well.

A couple of songs, such as “Cinderella” and “Rapunzel,” are based on fairy tales, and it’s here where Kinderjazz are probably most inspired, capturing the glowing innocence and fevered imaginations of childhood with the clever wit of master entertainers. Bravo!


- Adam Harrington, Whisperin'andHollerin'.com

Kinderjazz is the children’s group you wish could’ve visited your school in those lunchbox days.
Hailing from Australia, Kinderjazz is a 12-piece jazz orchestra that, as you could guess from their name, focuses on entertaining kids. It’s a brilliant idea that is professionally and engagingly executed, featuring lively, rainbow-colored songs with enough ambitious arrangements to be taken seriously even by the toughest of critics.
No, this isn’t some joke act that you’d find on Dr. Demento nor is it a slice of K-Mart cheese. Kinderjazz mixes jazz, blues, and world music in a freshly packaged and witty manner. “Guess the Name” has a vibrant, speaker-filling Big Band punch that’ll knock out adults as well as children, who’ll probably focus on the goofiness of the lyrics. Oddly enough, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” has demented male vocals which recall the post-punk stylings of the late Klaus Nomi.
Swing Right Through This Town is simply a fun album. It’ll make you dance and smile, bring sunshine on the most rainy of days. Highly recommended to preteens of all ages.


- Kyrby Raine, ShotgunReviews.com

Kids have it easy these days: The Internet. CD burners. mp3s. iPods. DVDs. Back in my day, we had to sit through the John Denver wanna-be’s as our musical visitors. But today’s grade-school brats? No, they have Kinderjazz. Although Kinderjazz haven’t toured America’s Pokemon-fueled cafeterias yet, you know it’s only a matter of time before these spoiled children receive a free performance from a 12-piece jazz orchestra.

Yes, you heard right: Kinderjazz is not a one-man (or one-woman) act with an acoustic guitar on one hand and a songbook of frosty snowmen and puffy dragons on the other. This is a real group of professionals skillfully square dancing from jazz to swing to world beat, unified by their affection for fairy tales and playground good times. The tropical “The Conga Man” is the most giddy blast of island cheer since Harry Belafonte’s “The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” while the hilarious “Bugs in My Body” reinvigorates swing with its comical touch and easily catchy, slightly bent lyrics.

The blazing horns and infectious energy of “Jump” will make it highly appealing to P.E. classes while “Rapunzel” has one of the most inspired twisted vocals you’ll hear on any children’s record. Clearly, this stuff was made to attract adults as well, who might even notice the Klaus Nomi and B-52’s influence on “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.


- Michael Sutton, Washington

The name, the look, the sound: It is marketing genius. Australia’s Kinderjazz is probably one of the most ambitious children’s music acts in the world. This is a real band, a Big Band, in fact. There are more than 10 members in this unit playing real and really invigorating swing and Latin music for kids. With their colorful clothes and cartoonish numbers, Kinderjazz are able to woo the preteen set but also their moms, dads, and grandparents as well. Christobel Llewellyn of Kinderjazz reveals the goofy madness behind the group.

Lucinda Coyne: Children’s music in a real Big Band jazz setting is pure genius. Who thought of it?

Christobel Llewellyn: I had a vision. I realised that there was a real lack of live music around for children. Most children’s shows had a fluffy character costume and a poor quality backing tape. There were no musical instruments for the kids to look at or listen to and everything seemed to be fake, i.e., a drum machine or synthesizer. I knew as a professional musician I had the means to address this imbalance. I noticed that all the highest quality children’s films and cartoons included swing music and Big Band jazz tracks recorded with some of the best musicians in the industry. Children loved the beat and variety of rhythms and styles. It seemed the perfect vehicle to introduce them to live music while having fun.

Coyne: What is a Kinderjazz live performance like? Do you interact with the children?

Llewellyn: Yes! The whole show is interactive. Children get to come up on stage and get up close and personal with the instruments and virtuoso musicians. I’ve rarely seen anyone sit down. The Kinderjazz band have two presenters who sing and fool around with the kids. A live performance always includes a lot of dance moves which the children can learn. Musicians don’t just solo on their instruments to show them off; they clown around, i.e., a feather from our female vocalist’s boa floated up just when our trombone player was about to do his solo so he followed it and manipulated his slide to keep this feather up in the air. It was the best solo he’d ever played keeping children in the moment. It was pure magic. By the end of the show the young audience is not just entertained but educated and yelling for more. You never know what’s going to happen next.

Coyne: Who are the creative forces behind the group?

Llewellyn: David Llewellyn has written the majority of the music and lyrics. David, a graduate of London University and the Royal College of Music, gets his inspiration from his own children. Legendary BBC arranger Arthur Greenslade (musical director for Shirley Bassey) did a huge slice of the arranging which really raised the bar for quality in a children’s product. Costumes, management and choreography have been taken care of in house by myself.

Coyne: When did Kinderjazz get together?

Llewellyn: We did our first gig back in 1997 and you just can’t stop the music.

Coyne: How has the band evolved through the years?


Llewellyn
: We started off as a 10-piece then quickly added a second trumpet, a Latin percussionist, and most recently a baritone sax. From 1997 to 2008, the band has recorded six albums and played extensively at clubs, festivals, corporate family days, the Zoo, the Sydney Opera House, the Olympics and parties. The Kinderjazz repertoire tends to explore all different styles of the 20th Century from blues to hip hop. In a time when “processed” music rules and children are marketed as adult pop, Kinderjazz (as many parents have stated) is “water in the desert.” For everyone involved it’s unstoppable fun.


- Lucinda Coyne, CafePress.com

The One for Me consists of original material that may sound like songs from more than 40 years ago. Again, the difference is Kinderjazz’s approach, producing tunes that tykes can boogie to without the influence of purple dinosaurs. “Kinderjazz” and “That’s Fine” steal our hearts from the very beginning, percolating with giddy Latin rhythms; I love how the former runs into a smashing, crashing conclusion. The energy on The One for Me will leave you – and your children – breathless. The band never seems to tire, leaping from swing to jazz to funk with the open-minded and wild imaginations of – guess what? – kids.Spring is here, and so is the bright, bouncy, and buoyant new album from Kinderjazz. Let the sunshine in because that’s what Kinderjazz is all about. As hinted by their name, Kinderjazz are a kid-friendly Big Band from Australia. The group has numerous members – enough to crowd a house, that’s for sure – that are highly skilled musicians performing music which will appeal to the child in anyone. Because they are aiming for the kiddie market, they might not be taken as seriously, most likely unfairly dismissed as a novelty act. No, not at all. Kinderjazz are simply taking styles of music often targeted towards grown-ups and wrapping them up in the most delectable bubblegum.


- Midnight Jazz Review, Vivian Fields