Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Informe de Flatbush Frolic y Antic Atlántico / Report from Flatbush Frolic and Atlantic Antic

Nuestros shows en septiembre fueron un poco difíciles, pero también especiales, justamente por eso. Comenzó a lloviznar cuando estábamos a punto de comenzar con nuestras canciones en la placita de Cortelyou entonces Alfred de Midwood Martial Arts muy hábilmente improvisó una carpa para cubrirnos un poco de la lluvia. Terminamos con unos ocho niños debajo de nuestra pequeña carpa cantando canciones mientras empezó a llover muy fuerte afuera. Como le pasó a muchos en el Frolic ese día, nos divertimos e hicimos sonreir a algunas caras a pesar de la lluvia.

En el Antic, empezamos nuestro programa, mientras que una banda de rock estaba tocando muy fuerte al lado. Decidimos dejar de hacer nuestro show normal y empezamos a contar historias y cantar algunas canciones a capella. Cuando leímos Se Venden Gorras, los chicos realmente se entusiasmaron. Tuvimos alrededor de diez monos con sus sombreros agitando sus puños hacia mí (yo era el vendedor de capas) con Chloe y Kylen siendo los líderes del grupo. En el momento en que terminamos con la salsa y el baile del sombrero, la banda de rock había terminado y nosotros terminamos con fuerza! Realmente es muy divirtiendo mezclar las canciones de nuestro show con las historias que hacemos en la biblioteca.

Our shows in September were a bit challenging but special because of that. It started drizzling just as we were about to start our set at the tot lot on Cortelyou and so Alfred from Midwood Martial Arts very cleverly jury-rigged up a tarp to give us a little bit of cover from the rain. We ended up with about eight kids under our little tent with us singing songs as it started really pouring outside. Just like a lot of people at the Frolic that day, we had fun and brought some smiles to faces despite the rain.

At the Antic, we started our show while an incredibly loud rock band was jamming. We decided to give up our normal set and started telling stories and singing some songs Acapella. We really got everyone involved when we got out Caps for Sale. We had about ten monkeys with their hats shaking their fists at me (I was the cap salesman) with Chloe and Kylen leading the group. By the time we finished up with salsa and the hat dance, the rock band was done and we finished strong! We’re really having fun starting to mix the songs and stories we do at the library with our shows.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shows in June

We had some really great shows outside this month. We performed at the New York Restoration Project Family Day, Children's Day at the South Street Seaport and at El Museo del Barrio for the Museum Mile Celebration.

Something special happened at each show. At El Museo del Barrio, after I fell asleep for the second time after the song La Pulga, instead of yelling my name, the kids tickled me to wake me up! It was the first time that had ever happened.

At Family Day, we had our first salsa-off competition--we had a little salsa dancing contest during the song Paco and based on some formula Fati awarded the prize to an adorable little girl that had followed every step of every song.

At Children's Day, we danced around in a circle with a little girl who had a giant smile on her face from the moment we started the show to the very end.

Best of all I think was that at each event, we had a really nice time with the kids after and or during the shows. All the events were wonderful for families and although we do usually get out and do things on the weekend, we don't always take advantage of special events like these which the kids really love.

We also got help on stage from Chloe and Kylen at Children's Day with the song Fermin. Little by little I think we're going to start having them participate more in the shows. They know all the songs so well and really seem to like performing. We'll see how that develops.

Thanks so much to Abigail, Rebecca and Magaly for the pictures and video!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer's Here!

We've been having a great time with the kids and with shows but have just not found time to document everything. I'm going to play catch up for the next few weeks.

But summer is here which means we'll be playing shows outside which is always fun. We're playing at the South Street Seaport later this month which will be fun and later in August we'll be at Union Square. All great stuff which I am determined to document!

Here's our June newsletter which has info on everything happening this month. Please sign up for the newsletter at our website!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Swindler's Cove on a Beautiful Day

The beautiful days seem to be coming fast and furious now. After days of rain and grey, we had an amazing day Thursday for our show up at Swindler's Cove Park for the New York Restoration Project's event called, Naturemania! I've actually never been so far up in Manhattan and it was fun tracing the path of the East River and then the Harlem River all the way uptown. More than anything, our kids were welcomed to join the fun and did face painting, drawing, and playing with rocks and sticks.

The show was great although after a few songs, kids drifted away to do other activities and we invited Kylen and Chloe to perform on the stage--well, the grass--with us.

As always, there were a few kids that seemed to just have the predisposition to have fun and their smiles and enthusiasm made the show great fun.

It was always nice because the majority of the kids there spoke Spanish and understood the lyrics of the songs. We had some nice conversations with the kids afterwards and stayed until the event ended.
It was great to find out a little more about the New York Restoration Project and this event. We'll definitely make it next year!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dance Party at the Library

It was so exciting to play at the MAIN Brooklyn public library. I spent so much time there in high school and over breaks in college. I always loved just going into that incredible building right at Grand Army Plaza.

We had a really nice group of kids that came for the music and then families that just came by when they heard the music and joined right in. Plus, our kids, my parents, Fati's mom, and my brother's family were all there. We were able to have a little family gathering at our show which was really nice.

I think we'll have to figure out another Saturday morning to bring our show to the Central library!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Booking Agent is In..and very lucky

I'm not sure what's going on but the booking gods have been smiling on Fati & I recently. I heard back from the the Summer in the Square that they'd like us to play there. Summer in the Square is a music series at Union Square in that other, smaller Island to the West. We're also going to participate in Children's Day again this year down at the South Street Seaport. It was a lot of fun last year and we're really looking forward to it this year.

The weirdest thing was that I called the New York Restoration Project last week at like 6 pm to see if I could send them some info to try to set up a show for later in the summer and it turned out they needed a performer for their Naturemania series next week! Talk about right time, right place.

We're really thrilled that we're going to be performing at some of the best music free summer music series around. Who knows? Maybe next year we'll be at Celebrate Brooklyn!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Arlington Library Show a Tight Fit

Our show at the Arlington Library was kind of a tight fit because we were literally surrounded by three and four year olders as we were singing and dancing. More and more it seems like older kids seem to really get into our show and can follow all our complicated choreography! It's great whenever kids of any age pay attention to us and seem to enjoy the show, but it's really rewarding when we see kids shouting SOLO SOLO with fist raised, dancing salsa with Paco, or spinning and throwing hats in El Baile del Sombrero.

There were kids from a couple school in the neighborhood plus a few families who attend the programs at the library every week. As the show went on, new kids arrived and we were literally inundated with kids...and it was great! The first thing we did when we started the show was push away the chairs that had been set up so that the kids could dance with us! And once they all came up to wake me up after I had once again fallen asleep after "La Pulga", they were up with us to stay. One little boy kept laying down, I think copying me when I fell asleep.

The group that arrived a little late took a little while to warm up, but by the time we were dancing salsa with Paco, they were dancing with us too.

It was a really fun show with a great group of kids.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Show at Spring Creek Library or not

We set off for the Spring Creek Library and arrived just in time for the librarian to tell us that we were going to do the show over at the school of the kids who were going to be our audience still were. It was a messy, cold, rainy morning and it would have been a long and miserable walk for the kids over to the library, so we went to them!

I love the way some libraries form partnerships with childcare programs and schools in their neighborhoods. It gets the kids into the library at a young age and introduces them to all the library offers. It's great for us because we get a nice audience of children who otherwise wouldn't have seen us.

We set up in one of the classrooms and it was fun seeing a typical day in the lives of these 3 year olds. The school was wonderfully colorful and decorated and the kids were as usual welcoming, kind and very cute.

More and more kids came into the classroom until finally we got the word that we were ready. Although very few of the kids spoke Spanish, we had them jumping, clapping, and spinning around from our first song and they stayed engaged throughout. There were so many kids that we didn't have nearly enough scarves, sponges, or hats to go around and using imagination didn't really seem to work that well. But kids still participated and had a good time.

For some reason, I got a really big laugh when I got all dressed up in Soy Muy Independiente. The laughter was so loud and immediate that it really made a big impression on me! It's so great to make people and especially kids laugh. I think I'm going to have to become a bit sillier and make that happen more often!

It seems like at a lot of shows there's one or two kids that really seem to love what we're doing. At this show, there was a girl who stood right in the front and followed every step, every gesture, mouthed every word, and really seemed to have a great time. If we had just done the show for her alone, I would have gone home happy.

It was a really nice morning! Thanks to the family that came all the way from Williamsburg to see the show at the library and then came over to the school! I hope you and your child had a nice time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Show at El Taller a Family Affair

Our show at El Taller Latino Americano could best be described as a family affair. I think most of that has to do with the space and feeling of El Taller. It feels kind of like a big house party and you automatically have something in common with everyone that's there. It was also that our kids, my mom, our friends from New Jersey with their kids, the mother of an old friend, and the director's family were all there probably had something to do with it too.

The families that came out through the snow to see us were particularly wonderful too. Everyone seemed up for getting out of the house and having some fun so adults and kids seemed happy and engaged throughout the show.

We performed Que Puedo Dibujar for the first time and used
pictures the kids are showing pictures the kids had drawn themselves!

Washing up with Esponjas

The kids were working hard to wake me up after La Pulga

El Baile del Sombrero

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Giveaway Over!

Our giveaway is closed. We're happy to announce the winners!

Susana won prize #1 and Wendy won prize #2. Thanks for entering our giveaway and we hope we'll see you at El Taller Latino Americano on Saturday February 27th at 11:00 am despite the snow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Giveaway! Free Show and Free CD! Two Great Prizes!

We're very excited to be hosting our first ever giveaway!

Here's the prizes!

Prize 1: An all expenses paid trip (i.e. subway fare) for your whole family to El Taller Latino Americano in New York City to see Fati & Charles on Saturday February 27th at 11:00 am and a copy of El Baile del Sombrero.

We'd love to be able to fly people in from all over the country and the world for our show but we're not quite there yet. We can however cover MetroCards for the whole family, the price of admission, and send you home with a copy of our CD! Plus you'll have a great time singing and dancing with us!

Prize 2: An autographed copy of El Baile del Sombrero by Fati & Charles

The autograph can actually be optional but it makes it more exciting right? We'd love to share our CD with you and get your family dancing and singing together! We'll be happy to send it wherever you are with a few extra little surprises inside.

How to enter:

Entering our contest is easy. All you have to do is be a part of our mailing list and make a comment on this blog post that you'd like your name thrown in the hat (include your name), and which prize you're interested in (1 or 2). If you're not already on our mailing list, you can join by filling out this form.

Once we get all the names, we'll put them in a sombrero and Chloe will draw for prize 1 and Kylen for prize 2!

The last entry will be accepted at 11:59 pm on Friday, February 19th! The winners will be announced Saturday, February 20th!

Wait!! There's more!!! Additional entries!!!

If you'd like to stack the odds in your favor and have more chances to win our fabulous prizes, there's a few ways to do that.

  • Blog, Facebook, or Twitter about our exciting giveaway and show at El Taller and leave a comment with the link on our blog.

  • Start following us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know by posting a comment on our blog.

  • Make a comment on our videos on You Tube, or about our CD on Amazon or CD Baby! Leave us a comment with the link on our blog.

  • Put up a flyer (English or Spanish) for our show at your school or in your neighborhood! Post a comment on our blog!
You'll get one extra name in the hat for each and anything you do!

Best of luck!!! Let's see how it goes!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some blogosphere publicity for show at Vox Pop!

It's so neat the way the blogosphere works! I sent in some listings to Time Out NY Kids and our Vox Pop show got mentioned which I think led to a listing at Mommy Poppins, Momme Talk, and at the Examiner.

It's great to get some mentions in the virtual world and it's great to find out about these "what to do this weekend" resources that I didn't know about. What's better than finding a great list of free and cheap things to do with kids on the weekend in Brooklyn?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grupo ñ inaugural storytime

Our friends Mariana and Jonah, a bilingual family who live in Westfield, New Jersey, decided they wanted to start a story time in Spanish at their local library. The inaugural meet up was this past Saturday and we trekked out from Brooklyn to be a part of it.
The turnout was great! Lots of families with everything from babies to tweens. Everyone listened to Mariana and Jonah read "Buenas noches, Gorila", "Huevos verdes con jamón", and other great stories. We used shakers, sang, and danced and had a great time. After we all clapped enthusiastically when the 45 minutes were over, we got a chance to meet and talk with the families that were there and the kids got a chance to play together and look at books in the amazing library.
It was a really fun day and really inspires us to start our own version of Grupo ñ in Brooklyn!

Friday, January 15, 2010

World Brooklyn Event Great For Adults and Kids

We had a great time last Sunday at the World Brooklyn: Tips To Raising A Bilingual Child event! We felt kind of funny with our little table decorated with El Baile del Sombrero and Abbasubi gear--coloring sheets, stickers, cards, and of course CDs. We've never presented ourselves like that before but as soon as parents started arriving and we got a chance to talk to them, we had a great time!
Most of the families that came had babies and were trying to figure out how to raise them bilingually. Fati & I were thrust into the role of "experienced parents with bilingual kids" and got into great discussions about that we had done and the situation of the families we were meeting. Oh yeah! And here's this CD we did!
The panel discussion was a lot of fun and there were just the right amount of people so that the Q&A session really allowed everyone to participate. The most important thing I think I got out of the panel was to make and plan and then be consistent. It's not always easy but it helps children to clearly distinguish between languages and have a constant context for when to use a certain language.
The other nice part of the afternoon was that our kids had a great time! They made a number of crowns for Los Reyes which they kept running in to show us. The staff from Lango were really welcoming and great with the kids. There was a crafts room and a playroom that were both buzzing with activity the whole afternoon.
After some great demos by Musica para Mi and El Pequeno Artista, Fati cranked up El Baile del Sombrero while we were all cleaning up and a spontaneous dance party of little ones broke out on the little stage in the meeting room.
It was a fun time for the whole family and we look forward to the next World Brooklyn event!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Newsletter

I just churned out the January Newsletter while Kylen is asleep and Chloe is off with Nana. I will pay for this long nap when it's 11:00 PM and Kylen is still bouncing off the walls but it's a give and take right?

Here's a link to the newsletter but you should just join the list and get the newsletter! Click here to sign up.

There's a lot of info on an event we're participating in this Sunday about raising a bilingual child. We'll be there as Abbasubi but we're bringing the kids because I think it will actually be a fun, interesting, informative time for the whole family! I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's the basics from the website.


World Brooklyn: Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child
Sunday, January 10
2.30-5.00 PM
The Coop School
87 Irving Place (Clinton Hill)
Cost: $15 per family

Advance registration encouraged as space is limited

Enjoy an afternoon of class demos, a school expo and a Mandarin, Spanish and French children’s book fair.

3-4 PM Bilingual education panel and book fair
4-5 PM Free Mandarin, Spanish and French demos for your kids to enjoy

Panel topics include:
* How do you define bilingualism?
* If I introduce a second language, will my child experience speech delays?
* At what point should a parent introduce a second language - how
much, how often?
* Bilingual, full immersion, once a week programs?
* What are the merits of raising a child bi-lingual if both parents
only speak English?

Meet representatives from:
· Hands on World
· El Pequeno Artista
· International School of Brooklyn
· Lango Foreign Languages for Kids
· Language and Laughter Studio
· Musica Para Mi
· The Laurel Project

Kids welcome!

Free babysitting and cultural art activities provided by Lango from 2.30-4.00 PM during panel and expo.

World Brooklyn is the first of a series of events informing parents about their options in bilingual education. Lango Brooklyn will bring vendors and bilingual experts straight to parents to learn more about Brooklyn resources for raising children bilingually.


Okay. Time to wake up Kylen!