It’s tough listening to music with young kids. While you might be in the mood for the White Stripes, they’d rather hear the Wiggles. Musician Dan Zanes feels your pain. As a former member of the respected ’80s garage-rock band the Del Fuegos, he knows a thing or two about music that can get people up and dancing—and, since 2000, he’s been bringing his brand of musical exuberance to entire families through his all-ages concerts. Yes, everybody—parents and children alike—gets to have a good time; after one performance, the New York Times Magazine noted, “Zanes’s kids music works because it is not kids music; it’s just music—music that’s unsanitized, unpasteurized, that’s organic even.” Save your sanity and bring the whole family to the Dan Zanes & Friends performance on July 7 at the Paramount Center for the Arts. For more information, see This Month page 223.
Dan Zanes in his signature purple suit.
You may have heard of the Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Siren, or Coachella music festivals, but what about the one taking place in our own backyard? This year, the Pleasantville Music Festival returns for a third time on July 14, bringing with it popular acts such as the Damnwells, the Alternate Routes, and Jonatha Brooke (look for pop songs written by Brooke on the latest albums by former boy-banders Nick Lachey and J.C. Chasez). In addition, an acoustic stage will host special unplugged performances, along with separate areas for kids’ activities, food, and festival merchandise. End the day with a trip to the Jacob Burns Film Center, which will be showing Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack in honor of the event (and Woody Guthrie’s birthday). For more information, see This Month page 223.
Jonatha Brooke Photo Credit: Linda Hansen
It’s only fitting that Westchester resident Jerry Pinkney, the multi-award-winning illustrator of books like The Little Red Hen and Noah’s Ark, is co-curator and featured speaker in the Westchester Arts Council’s newest exhibition, “Seeing Stories: A Celebration of Westchester Artists Who Illustrate Children’s Books,” which features the original images of 16 local artists, along with glimpses into their creative processes. After all, Pinkney was inspired to join his chosen profession after a similar meet-and-greet with an artist. “I always drew and fell in love with drawing as a child. But when I was twelve, I met a cartoonist named John Liney, who drew the â€˜Henry’ comic strip in the fifties.
That was the first time I thought about turning something I loved into a profession.” On July 19, Pinkney will talk about his craft at the Arts Exchange in White Plains. After 43 years, does Pinkney have a favorite drawing? “I’ve illustrated more than one-hundred books,” he says. “I’ve also worked for places like National Geographic and the National Park Service, along with other places that have more of an adult audience. I always try to bounce one project off the next, where the previous illustration breathes something into the next one. I don’t want to say it’s all been one project, but I look at it as one body of work, and I’ve been blessed that I’ve been able to do it.” We take that as a “no.”
“Seeing Stories” will be on display through July 28. For more information, see This Month page 224.
Caption: Image from The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney