Category Archives: Jungle Gym Jam News

Be a Patron of the Arts

Patreon Meets the Jungle Gym Jam!

"Jersey Jason" lays down a vocal for the Jungle Gym Jam's new single "Pandagarten"For over four years, “Awesome Amy” and I have used rock-n-roll energy, interactivity, humor and lots of heart to create something that would make a difference in the lives of kids and families. We’ve created an invitation to put down that gadget, get up and dance. We’ve snuck in some educational content about animals and nature.

Our two albums Everyone’s Invited! and Lollipop Motel were produced in recording studios where we paid hourly for the time of a producer and an engineer, all while we witnessed the recorded music industry changing.

In 2017, you don’t have to buy a CD or download to hear the album of your choice; In 2017 you carry in your pocket a jukebox of virtually all commercially recorded music there is!

So…how does new recorded music get financed in this new era? The same way as the classical composers were funded in the 1700s! Patrons of the arts fund the creation of new music, simply because they want it to be created. An online community known as Patreon does just that…it enables fans of a creator to become patrons…to fund the creation of more of the art that makes their lives better.

>> Visit the Jungle Gym Jam’s new Patreon page and watch a 1-minute video. 

With Patreon, a creator’s patrons subscribe with the monthly dollar amount of their choice and get exclusive rewards from the artist.  Rewards become greater with larger commitments.

And instead of waiting a year or two for a full album to come out, patrons get a new, fully produced song each month as soon as they’re ready — before they’re released to the public. Patreon creators give their fans new material on a steady basis — it’s a two-way commitment.

For example, “Pandagarten” is ready for you right now, with a planned release date of Friday, 6/23. So if you become a patron today, you’ll get the single right away – before the general public.

>> Become a Jungle Gym Jam patron today and get “Pandagarten” right away! 

Awesome Amy from the Jungle Gym Jam recording vocals. We’ve set a goal for total monthly Patreon subscriptions. If we meet or exceed that goal, we can also create four professionally directed music videos each year, giving our best songs a visual element your family will enjoy.

While we’re building up our subscriber base, we will continue to create one single track each month for your listening pleasure. We can do this because we’re now recording at home using our own equipment. I’ve been learning recording techniques that create pleasing results that you and the kids will want to listen to over and over — so we don’t have to go into a studio or spend money on producers – I am the producer now. Your subscription will help me offset the cost of the recording gear I invested in for you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please share with a family that could benefit from our creations.

Musically yours,

Jason

New Jungle Gym Jam singles slated for monthly release

Pandagarten’s Up First – Friday, June 23

Jason Didner from the Jungle Gym Jam, mixing tracks in his home studio in Montclair, N

Jason Didner from the Jungle Gym Jam, mixing tracks in his home studio in Montclair, NJ

Thanks to inspiration from my friend John Cullimore, a super-prolific self-producer for his own awesome family band Chibi Kodama, I’ve taken the plunge into the world of self-producing our Jungle Gym Jam music. After two albums created in commercial studios with dedicated producers and engineers, I became convinced that we needed to keep creating recorded music for our fans and for families we have yet to connect with. Putting another $10,000 project on our credit card to go back into the studio didn’t make sense, and we discovered a great upside: if we started self-producing, we could produce new music as often as we want, without time or budget constraints. So I invested in a new Mac, the right software, and we’re off to the races.

I also need to thank Scott Hawksworth at AudioSkills.com for his excellent crash course DVD on audio mixing and his great podcast and tutorial videos on YouTube. He spoke the language of a musician more than as a technician, to help me try new things and to lovingly craft these new tracks for you.

Please take a moment and follow Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam on Spotify. When we reach 150 followers, Spotify shares our tracks with a lot more fans and you’ll get better notifications of when our new singles are released.

This was not my first-ever experience self-producing; just my first time doing it in a very long time; and my first time applying it to kids’ music that I’d plan on releasing. Back in 2003 I self-produced a solo album titled American Road, which dealt with our complex array of emotions as a people that emerged after 9/11/01. At the time, my production work was just about completely self-taught; I was certainly missing some concepts that would have made the process smoother and the result better.

So… the first single coming your way is “Pandagarten,” scheduled for next Friday, June 23. It’ll be out on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft XBox, this web site’s store, CD Baby and Songs for Teaching, Each month through the rest of 2017 we’ll release a single a month. Early in 2018, some of those singles  will be included in a full-length album, our 3rd.

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

Cover artwork for upcoming “Pandagarten” single

Five Sea Lions Celebrates Fourth Anniversary!

Four years ago this week we released our first-ever single, “Five Sea Lions!”

This animated video was released about a year after the single, shortly after the release of our debut album “Everyone’s Invited!” Animation by Glen Biltz.

Sing along with our Lyrics page here! 

The single’s artwork was lovingly created by British children’s illustrator Emily Clapham.

When you come to our live shows, you get to see Awesome Amy operate “Sally the Sea Lion,” designed by puppeteer Chris Palmieri.

Turtle Back Zoo. Photo by Bob Didner

This catchy little number has held up really well at our live shows – it offers our littlest fans a simple activity to count down from five and learn some basic dance moves. Older kids and grown-ups pick up a little marine biology. Everyone gets a refreshing reggae/ska beat to move to.

 

Just Scheduled – Turtle Back Zoo this Sunday!

Acoustic duo will #RockNRecycle at Noon on 5/28

Meet Amy and me at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this Sunday, May 28 for a #RockNRecycle acoustic performance.

While you enjoy the live music and the animals, please also help out the earth! Bring your used Styrofoam (clean, white, no prior contact with food), cell phones, rechargeable batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, and we’ll take them for proper recycling! And hear our new song “Forever in a Landfill!”

Turtle Back Zoo. Photo by Bob Didner

Rock-N-Recycle with Jungle Gym Jam this Summer!

#RockNRecycle

This summer, the Jungle Gym Jam will perform in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. If you’re coming to a show, please bring materials you’d like to recycle, like Styrofoam, fluorescent light bulbs & tubes, cell phones and rechargeable batteries. We’ll take them to the proper recycling centers for you! We just don’t want that stuff to sit in a landfill!

Lately, my family’s been inspired to raise our recycling game. We had lots of Styrofoam to get rid of and I really didn’t want to put it in the regular trash, knowing it would take up permanent space in a landfill.

So I researched how and where I could responsibly discard the stuff. And in the process found inspiration to write this new song, along with Amy. Here’s my acoustic version of “Forever in a Landfill”:

btw, nice sunburn, right? That was with my having applied sunscreen that day! Eesh!

How you can Raise your Recycling Game

Not able to get to one of our shows? You can raise your family’s recycling game with these simple tips.

If you have curbside pickup of cans, bottles and paper, that’s great – a convenient way to recycle a good amount of those materials that can regularly accumulate in a household. But how about things that are not picked up – it takes a little effort, but nothing too hard!

Jason from Jungle Gym Jam recycling Styrofoam at Foam Pack Industries in Springfield, NJ #RockNRecycleIf you live or work in northern, NJ, there’s a very conveniently located Styrofoam plant off Rt. 22 in Springfield (behind the Staples & Sam Ash stores) – Foam Pack Industries. They have a large dumpster where you can place your clean, white Styrofoam (usually the Styrofoam blocks that electronics and other goods are packed in). Make sure that it hasn’t touched food and there’s no tape/adhesives on the foam blocks).

Do you have burnt-out fluorescent light bulbs or tubes? (compact fluorescent included) – Bring these to your local home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Or to a Batteries + Bulbs shop. The mercury in fluorescent lights is harmful to plants, animals and ultimately humans if buried in a landfill, where the glass often breaks, releasing the toxin into the ground.

These stores, plus office stores, like Staples or Office Depot, will take your used cell phones and rechargeable batteries, which also have materials that can be harmful to the environment if buried in a landfill.

Thanks for paying attention to this important issue for the health of our local communities and our planet! Please share this with someone you think would be interested. And use the hashtag #RockNRecycle

Musically yours,

Jason