Category Archives: Jungle Gym Jam News

“Pandagarten” Official Video

Here it is, our new official music video for #Pandagarten

Lots of people to thank here!

Big thanks to Pandas International who provided us with amazing video footage captured by several of their donors! Andrea was extremely responsive and helpful in providing us what we needed to help tell this story.

Thanks to the energetic, spirited, funny kids who worked their magic on a blazing hot summer day to bring lots of life to this video. I’m talking about Holly, Natalie, Maya and Elisa! And then we’ve got “Amazing Amelia” rockin’ the bass. At age 14 she’s already musically accomplished beyond her years and her “chill” stage presence is perfection.

Many thanks to my parents, Bob & Linda Didner, and the families of our cast – my wife Amy (of course also a cast member, rockin’ them bongos, Nicole Gray & Allen Chan and Danielle Dorter, who were super supportive and actively involved in coaching the kids through those hand motions in the chorus.

My dad, Bob, worked the handheld camera to capture footage of the band and the kids.

Thanks to Kathy at The Pathological Dyer online store on Etsy. She custom-made all these tie-dye shirts to meet our vision for this video.

Gotta thank John Cullimore of Chibi KodamaRon Albanese (“Polka Dot!”) and Dad for taking the time to critique the video while  it was in post-production, helping us enhance the final product you see here. Amy also showed a great eye in post-production for which shots to use, when.

You can’t make a music video without the music! Thanks again to John for inspiring me to start producing records at home and then meticulously critiquing areas where we could give the audio track the extra sparkle that today’s music listener expects. Thanks also to Scott Hawksworth at AudioSkills.com for the great home recording/mixing tutorials that helped me develop production techniques that will keep the music flowing.

Thank you Mike Mason at Good Stuff Kids Podcast for serving up a very successful world premiere of this video, along with an enjoyable interview (always good to talk with you!)

Thanks to our Patreon subscribers for your commitment to helping us keep developing and sharing new material on a regular basis. It feels great to create when I know it means so much to you and your families!

And thank you for taking the time to watch the video, read this page and share the video with anyone in your life who loves pandas (I mean, come on…who doesn’t?!?)

#SummerOfSharing is Back!

 Save U.S. Pets Logo  Oradell Animal Hospital Logo

Your Jungle Gym Jam Digital Download Purchases Will Be Shared 50/50 with Save U.S. Pets!

Last year we launched #SummerOfSharing, giving a portion of our music and merchandise sales proceeds to causes like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and young heart patient Xavier Ross’ hospital expenses.

Oradell Animal Hospital teams up with Jungle Gym Jam to support Save U.S. Pets in Summer of Sharing 2017This year, we’re teaming up with Oradell Animal Hospital to give to SAVE U.S. PETS, an independent, all volunteer 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to ensuring that no pet is denied lifesaving veterinary treatment because of its owner’s inability to pay.

50% of our digital download sales in the month of July will benefit Save U.S. Pets, including sales from:

If you’d rather have the physical product from us, you can pick up a CD at our live shows in July and we’ll donate 20% to Save U.S. Pets! We’ll also share 20% of proceeds from any online store purchase of a physical product. You can order CD’s or T-shirts in our online store.

* for Patreon gift levels involving a live party or preschool performance, we’ll donate $2.50 from your first monthly payment.

Thanks for supporting our #SummerOfSharing drive – remember to use that hashtag to tell others how you’re joining us to make New Jersey a better place for pets!

It’s Here! Pandagarten Single Released 6/23

Adorable synth pop tune teaches how Chinese nature centers are bringing giant pandas back from endangerment

Pandagarten single artwork - Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam 2017

Cover artwork for upcoming “Pandagarten” single

“Awesome Amy” has always loved pandas. One of my little gifts to her around the time we were married was a panda pillow. Two years ago we came face-to-face with a panda for the first time – it was Bao-Bao, the panda cub in the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. That was a special and moving experience for our whole family, just 2 weeks before we underwent a kidney transplant together.

This lively new track benefits from the 80s synth sounds I grew up on, where I found so much inspiration that later came over to the guitar. Then, amping up the cute factor is the vocal appearance of “Hoppin’ Holly” with her cousins Natalie & Maya and her friend Elisa.

Here’s a review of the new track by children’s music/parenting blogger Jeffrey Cohen, a.k.a. MrJeff2000. 

Pandagarten marks a new era in our music-making. We’ve begun self-producing our music at home, using the experience we collected working in commercial studios with producers and engineers. This exciting change will allow us to bring more of our musical ideas to life, year-round, not just when we have the opportunity and resources to book studio time.

The track is available worldwide now for download:

You can also stream it at:

Want “Pandagarten” plus every upcoming single of ours before it’s released? Or want us to perform at your birthday party or preschool? Hop on over to our Patreon page. See how you can become a patron of our music.

Here’s a stripped-down acoustic performance of the song, captured soon after the writing was completed:

For more information about pandas — and the source of our inspiration, check out the book Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder, illustrated with photos by Kathleen Feng, published by Harper Collins. It’s a wonderful book that really gave us the framework for our based-on-a-true-story song.

Want to sing along with it? Here are the lyrics:


Pandagarten

© 2017, Lyrics by Jason & Amy Didner, Music by Jason Didner

 Ni Hao! I’m Bao Bao the Panda and I’m 2 years old
Born the size of a stick of butter, so I’m told
At first fuzzy and pink and now I’m black and white
When my eyes began to work, Mom was such a beautiful sight!

Pre-chorus:
Well, the years went by and Mom and I began doing our own thing
And then my human teachers took me under their wings
Under their wings…

Chorus:
We get an awesome start in (awesome start in)
Our Panda kindergarten (Pandagarten)
Our teachers put the heart in (put the heart in)
Our Panda Kindergarten (Pandagarten)
We grow capable and smart in (Growing smart in)
Our panda kindergarten (Pandagarten)
Pandagarten
That’s where we learn and play

Verse 2:
There are sixteen pandas in my class
It’s me and my furry friends
On a playground where we swing and climb
And try again and again

All this exercise and these healthy treats
Help us grow big and strong
For a year or so we’ll learn new skills
And how to get along

Pre-chorus:
When we graduate, some classmates will stay here to have a child
And the most daring and adaptable will be picked to live out in the wild

Chorus

Outro:
(Pandagarten) Pandagarten
That’s where we learn and play
(Pandagarten) Pandagarten
That’s where we learn and play

Jungle Gym Jam at Your Birthday Party!

More Birthday Joy! No Sticker Shock!

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam at Monmouth Museum

Here’s a whole new way to get live entertainment at your young one’s birthday party:

Break it up into monthly payments and avoid the sticker shock that comes around at birthday time!

When you subscribe to the Jungle Gym Jam’s Patreon page at the “Happy Birthday!” level, we’ll entertain at a birthday party (or other celebration) of your choice each year (flexibility with date will be needed) — as long as you’re within a 3-hour drive* of our home base in Montclair, NJ.

>> Check out our Patreon page and look for the birthday party subscription levels. 

Patreon is an online community where people who love independently created music, videos, books, etc. get to be “patrons” of their favorite creators with a monthly subscription that keeps the good stuff coming.

For a pledge of $20 per month, your family gets the birthday party performance (acoustic duo) plus all of these perks:

  • Executive Producer – That’s right, you’re now an executive producer of the Jungle Gym Jam’s future albums! Your name will be in the credits, both printed on the CD insert and online.
  •  Monthly online concert – be part of a private group that gets online concerts webcast just for our subscribers. Request your favorite Jungle Gym Jam tunes to be dedicated to your kids.
  • Get all our music on CD and downloads. Your subscription comes with autographed CD copies of both our existing records Lollipop Motel and Everyone’s Invited! Plus every future CD album as it comes out. You’ll also get all the MP3 files for download, to save you the extra steps of importing the CDs.
  • Every new single before it’s released! When you subscribe to the Jungle Gym Jam’s Patreon page, you’ll get our monthly singles before the rest of the world does.

Would you rather have the whole band (4-5 piece) play at your party? Easy! Just go for the “Candle Blowout” level of subscription at $55 per month. Once a year, the full band will perform at your party. The party date will require flexibility as we tend to book many of our shows well in advance.

>> Sign up for the birthday party plan you want on the Jungle Gym Jam’s Patreon page. 

* Do you live more than 3 hours’ drive from our home in Montclair, NJ? We love to travel! You can still subscribe at these levels, but we’ll need to work out a plan with you to cover our travel costs in those cases.