Tag Archives: just jakes

Thank You for a Marvelous Album Launch!

IMG_20140126_121124Yesterday with amazing teamwork we pulled off a high-spirited family fun festival in the middle of winter! Kids were proudly waving their new foam light-up wands, dancing wherever they could find space in the packed venue and singing along with songs that were new to them.

Marc Bazerman of Baze and His Silly Friends delighted the crowd with his great sense of humor and warmth mixed with his wonderful musicianship. The New Captain Kangaroo, Pat Cashin, made lots and lots of new fans both from the stage and by drawing fantastic cartoons on-the-fly at the families’ tables. He truly astounded the kids when he would get a plate spinning on a rod and then pass it to a child’s extended finger as the spinning continued. What a huge confidence builder in that one simple, skillful action! Jamie Menake with her Fancy Faces and Places service certainly delighted the kids with her gentle manner and her artistry, especially her use of images that fit the themes of our songs.

Marc Bazerman, Baze and His Silly Friends

Marc Bazerman, Baze and His SIlly Friends

Jason Didner from the Jungle Gym Jam with Pat Cashin, the New Captain Kangaroo

Pat Cashin, the New Captain Kangaroo!

Face painting by Fancy Faces and Places

Fancy Faces and Places

 

Merch Table by Bitty Box Marketing

Merch Table by Bitty Box Marketing

There was something extra special about our merchandise table; it was run by Jeanette Lauture from Bitty Box Marketing, who you might remember from Aunt Jean’s Toys and Treats. She brought the warm, welcoming and appealing sense of that store to our festival, along with the excellent and eager help provided by Maya, Leila and Benji from Montclair High School.

The turnout was beyond my wildest dreams, and I’m so happy you all came with your families to take part in our festivities. My wife Amy said she was moved almost to tears by the sight of the full house! It was great to meet so many of your little rock stars and see the decorations on their faces. I loved your sing-along responses on “Jungle Gym Jamming” and “Stay in the Pool.” Your freeze dancing was so much fun to see in “The Pick Song.”

Co-songwriter Amy and our daughter

Co-songwriter Amy and our daughter

The crowd at Just Jake's Bar & Restaurant for Jungle Gym Jam album release

The crowd from the stage

Were you there? Tag yourself on our Facebook page!

Electric guitar raffle for Human Needs Pantry

The big raffle winner got a guitar!

I’m very excited for Adam Marks who won a Sekova vintage 60’s era electric guitar in a raffle by donating food to the Human Needs Food Pantry. Congratulations also to Jennifer Chelseka who won a gift basket of Jungle Gym Jam merchandise including our new CD “Everyone’s Invited,” a beach ball and more. I’m very appreciative of what the Pantry does for the hungry in our area and glad our audience thought so much of the needs of others to bring food.

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam acousticThe band was on fire, thanks to the glowing harmonies from Casey McCleary and Judy Helbig and the rock-solid rhythm section formed by Judy on bass and Ross Kantor on drums. Mousey and Ziggy, the sound team, gave us every advantage to sound our best and were kind and patient with us through the setup process. Patty, the manager, dealt admirably with the mostly happy dilemma created by the large turnout and the competing needs for both table space and dancing space for the kids.

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Producer Dave Cushing

Our guest performers delivered joy as well, from producer Dave Cushing taking the stage on “Window of the Train” to reproduce his acoustic guitar work, to Meg Beattie bringing her harmonies to life on “Five Sea Lions.” NJ Kiddie Rock mainstay Ron Albanese “Polka Dot” added to the fun of “Down By the Bay,” freeing me up to do a little shredding on the guitar while he handled the frontman role like a rock icon.

After our set, young Lindsey Rawding turned many heads with her cups-as-percussion rendition of “When I’m Gone” and a very warm, mature and reliable voice coming out of an 8-year-old.

The turnout was fueled by a team effort with many people contributing to the promotion of the event. Our publicist Irene Maslowski spread our story far-and-wide to public calendars and newspapers all over northern New Jersey and formed some relationships with parent bloggers who are finding that our music can be an essential part of local family life, but live and on record. Jeanette helped out with a very personal e-mail message to the loyal following she’s earned over the years. Kim from Diva Moms NJ, Scott from Fun New Jersey and Kim from NJ Kids Online all encouraged the attendance with notes within their social and professional circles as well.

My parents rarely ever missed a gig of mine even since I was a 6th grader playing trumpet in the school concert band and it was wonderful to have their support along with Aunt Ellen, who contributed the guitar for the raffle, my brother Matt, sister-in-law Danielle, Sister-in-law Judy, brother-in-law Michael and the nieces and nephews: Natalie, Maya, Chase and Cameron.

I’m overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for this, our passion project, born out of our love for our daughter and for music as a key part of happy, healthy childhoods. I look forward to making more experiences like this one that we can share together.

–  Jason

Family Festival Spotlight – Bitty Box Marketing with Jeanette Lauture

Former Owner of Aunt Jean’s Toys and Treats has New Goodies!

Jeanette Lauture of Bitty Box MarketingOne of our favorite  destinations with our daughter in our hometown of Montclair is Church Street with its boutiques and cafes, which always gives us this feeling like we’re away on vacation in our own town.

One of our favorite stops on our stroll was Aunt Jean’s Toys and Treats, a colorful and inviting place for our little girl to stretch out her imagination and explore in a world of pretend play. Last summer I brought in some download cards of “Five Sea Lions” for Jeanette to consider selling in the store. What I didn’t know then was that Jeanette was planning to close the store and follow a related passion to take on a larger role in the creation, marketing and distribution of great products for kids.

So when I learned in the local papers and blogs that Aunt Jean’s was closing and what Jeanette wanted to do next, I felt how I was going to miss that happy little store, but I soon felt also that if she could do for our wares what she did to make her store so delightful, that we could team up and create a truly awesome family experience together. We’ve had great fun so far putting together a wonderful collection of kid-friendly products to offer, and we’re just getting warmed up! You’ll have a chance to meet Jeanette  at our merchandise table at the Album Launch and Family Festival on Sunday at Just Jake’s.

We’ll be offering the items from our online store that bear the Jungle Gym Jam brand, including our new CD (autographed), youth sized tie-dye T-shirts, maracas, tambourines, and beach balls. We also have LED foam color light wands which are sure to be a hit with the kids!

Jeanette also placed our new CD “Everyone’s Invited!” at Montclair’s Watchung Booksellers where it can be  purchased starting Tuesday, January 28.

You can follow Jeanette on Twitter to keep up with her latest projects.

 

Win an Electric Guitar with a Food Donation at our Album Release!

Come out to Just Jake’s in Montclair this Sunday Jan. 26 and bring a nonperishable food or cash donation for the Human Needs Food Pantry. You could win a vintage Sekova electric guitar!

In this video I announce the giveaway and demonstrate the guitar with a performance of our theme song, “Jungle Gym Jamming.”

Tickets are available at a discount in advance at http://junglegymjam.ticketleap.com/everyonesinvited

Family Festival Spotlight: Marc Bazerman

Marc Bazerman from Baze and His Silly FriendsFor our Family Festival and Album Release Party, we chose Marc Bazerman from Baze and his Silly Friends to open the show!

It’s always cool to see a fellow kindie artist grow along with his or her own children. I’m seeing it right up close and personal with the music of Marc and his band. The topics and musical settings of his songs are becoming more varied and picking up more and more of that rock-n-roll energy that will capture the imagination of tweens like his sons while still giving the baby-and-toddler set plenty of reasons to jump, shake and spin! Enjoy his live performance and make sure to pick up a copy of his latest critically-acclaimed album “The Best Day Ever!”

Jungle Gym Jam Album Release Party flyerWhen Marc’s not making his own family-friendly sounds, he’s producing records and designing sound for Broadway, TV and movies. He’s currently producing an album for Suzi Shelton, a top New York performer in the world of kids’ music.

– Jason

 

The Family Fun Festival and Album Launch Party takes place on Sunday, January 26 at 11:30 AM at Just Jake’s at 30 Park Street in Montclair, NJ. There will be a face painter and a juggler. Beach balls, maracas and foam light wands will be available. Advance tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for kids (age 2 and up) and FREE for kids under 2.