The long-awaited All Around This World: Africa double CD set is alllllllmost ready. Last week I spent an inspiring evening at the Hook Studio in Brooklyn with Nigerian/Yoruban talking drummer and singer “Kofo the Wonderman” recording the lead vocal and talking drum for a “fuji” courtship/wedding track we’re calling “Bale Ile.” (Learn about “Bale Ile.”) We’d been trying to get Kofo into the studio for quite a while and somehow on this night the stars aligned. The initial mix of the track is fantastic. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
Watch Kofo recording part of his solo:
Recording Bale Ile with Kofo the Wonderman
Now watch Kofo soloing on his talking drum with a backing band and you’ll be able to get a sense of how exciting “Bale Ile” is going to be.
Kofo the Wonderman in action at the Zinc Bar in NYC
INTRODUCING ALL AROUND THIS WORLD’S NEW LIVE WEBCASTS
AATW is entering the modern age by leaping headfirst into your living room. Inspired by the success of December’s 24 Hour Music Class Marathon, I’ve decided to fire up the video camera on a regular basis and bring All Around This World’s enthusiastic embrace of cross-cultural exploration, LIVE, right to you — onto your computer screen, your iPad, your smart phone, your super-cool internet TV . . . any device in your house that plays video can now be a place for us to meet.
Throughout 2014 there will be three ways you can enjoy AATW Webcasts:
The craziness started January 1st of this year at 5pm Eastern time with the first All Around This World “Song-a-day” webcast. Every weekday since the first of the year I’ve been coming to you live for about ten minutes to teach you a song from the All Around This World curriculum, connecting it to holiday being celebrated somewhere around the world. Those following AATW on Facebook and Twitter have been learning about the songs each day. Now you can see those songs in action, every day, at http://new.livestream.com/AllAroundThisWorld. I’m going to try to make it to a webcast every weekday through 2014, though I’m sure I’ll miss a couple days here and there.
– WEEKLY WEBCAST CLASSES
Starting this April you will be able to attend for AATW’s weekly parent/child classes, great for you and you infants to 5 year olds, from the comfort of your own home. It’s true! Every Thursday morning you’ll be able to join me online for a live 40 minute participatory parent/child music class. This will be the full AATW curriculum, brought right to you. We’ll start this spring with songs and dances from Latin America, venture to Africa this summer and head forth through AATW’s 12 seasons of songs from there. Subscribers to the AATW Webcasts will have access to ample family-friendly, country-by-country guides, many fun “Try This At Home” activities and exclusive access to online events. These classes are going to be FUN. Much more information about the webcast classes will come your way in this space. For an introduction in the meantime, visit the AATW Webcast Classes page.
The webcast classes are no substitute for real-life AATW classes — if you’re lucky enough to live near an AATW location, by all means go to a real-life class with real-life teachers — but if you don’t have that chance, join me for class online.
– SPECIAL WEBCAST EVENTS
Throughout 2014 and beyond there I’m planning to take to the wires with the occasional concert, workshop, mind-exercising discussion and full family cultural event. When that happens, I’ll let you know.
A quick note to let everyone know All Around This World’s Philadelphia classes are offering a deal. AATW has partnered with AMAZON LOCAL to offer a special rate on a “5 class pass” to particular Amazon subscribers for parent/child classes in Philadelphia. If you got information about the deal in your e-mail and you’re looking for specifics about the classes that are part of the discount, here are direct links:
WEST PHILADELPHIA (Pine Street) CLASSES
FAIRMOUNT (London Grill and Bache-Martin) and CHESTNUT HILL
Contact Jay with any questions.
I know I’ve been slow to update the news column of this site in the new year, but I really must note the passing of Pete Seeger. Over a seventy year career Seeger used music to inspire thought and action, to build community and to generally better the world. Decades ago Seeger was one of the first modern artists to search the world for engaging music, translate and adapt songs for an American audience as a way to connect people of all sorts with one another. As you can imagine, I think that’s pretty great.
Watch an older Seeger perform his interpretation of the African children’s song, “Abiyoyo.”
Watch a younger Seeger perform “Down By the Riverside” along with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
New Year’s Eve fireworks over my hometown, Philadelphia
So many successes in 2013! So many good times, so much music, so much fun. This has been quite a full year for me and All Around This World. Even just in the last few months there have been advances galore, like
– the launch of this website. oh happy day!
– the release of All Around This World: Latin America and the AATW: Latin America Musical Map
– the recording of two CDs jam-packed with AATW’s African songs (the songs are being mixed right now and the digital release is scheduled for January) and the tracking for AATW: South and Central Asia
– A wild and wacky 24 hour music class marathon
- a successful crowdfunding campaign! More about that to come.
I really hope you had a wonderful year. I’m optimistic for 2014 and hope you are too. Here’s to a happy, healthy and satisfying 2014.
10 a.m. Philadelphia time. The 24 hour music class marathon just ended and I made it! I taught 24 straight music classes, 2 from each All Around This World season, and didn’t repeat a single song, other than “We Are Happy” as the hello and goodbye. Over the course of the day there were visitors galore, both in person and through the webstream, and there was so much wonderful tweeting and facebook posting and instagramming etc. Thank you so so so much for everything. A special shout-out to those who came by my house and sang and danced and danced and sang (and brought chocolate!). I’ll write a more reasoned evaluation of how everything went after I wake up from a long long sleep, but I want to say I’m honored to know all of you and feel privileged even more to be able to sing with you and your kids.
Now that the marathon is over I’m going to be focusing on the next two weeks of crowdfunding, trying to raise money to keep this program going and make it available to more and more and more kids. If you liked what you saw at the marathon and you haven’t already pitched in or spread the word, any boost to the campaign would be great. Here, yet again, is the link:
I’ve set the deadline for December 21. Thank you so much for your support.
This is not me. But I assume this guy will be awake all night singing too.
24 HOUR MUSIC CLASS MARATHON TODAY [TODAY! TODAY!], SATURDAY DECEMBER 7th to SUNDAY DECEMBER 8th!! WEBSTREAM IS AVAILABLE AT
Please spread the word by Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or by screaming it out the window. AATW’s Twitter handle is @AATWMusic. We will be using
For details about the event, including an hour by hour schedule of what I’ll be singing, visit http://www.allaroundthisworld.com/JayWillBeTiredButWillKeepSinging
Each class will start on the hour and go for about 45 minutes. After that I’ll take a few minutes off to grab some foot, reply to some of your messages and reset the webstream broadcaster. If you stop by and I’m not in front of the camera or there’s no stream, wait a couple minutes until the top of the next hour and I should be back.
Classes work best for grown-up/child teams together. These grown-up/child classes are designed for infants to five or six-year-olds, but if you’re older and determined to have fun, it will happen.
If you’re in Philadelphia and you want to stop by in person please do! There will be kids in the Saturday morning classes but afterwards it may just be me, you and the camera…which means just us and the rest of the world.
Recording for the the All Around This World: Africa double CD set is 95% done and mixing is happening at Amon Drum’s Hook Studio in Brooklyn probably at this very second. Throughout the month, until the digital release, planned for some time this December, I’ll be posting the occasional sneak preview track here for your listening pleasure.
Today let’s enjoy “Nanu Ney” an excellent Ethiopian Jazz song that will appear on All Around This World: Africa Volume 1. In class we use the song as background music as we dance the shoulder shaking Eskista, which you can see here, and which is believed to have inspired the Harlem Shake.)
Audiophiles take note: this preview track is mixed but not yet mastered. Learn more about Nanu Ney.
All Around This World’s 24 Hour Marathon Goes Global!
Revving up for an exciting 24 Hour live webcast of All Around This World music classes on December 7-8, I’ve started fielding press inquiries from the international English-language press. Recently I’ve completed interviews with publications in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, South America and Asia. Come on, Africa, what are you waiting for?
UPDATE: Read a really nice article about All Around This World and the 24 Hour Music Class Marathon from the Jakarta Post.
You may be right, I may be crazy…
Today I’m officially announcing THE 24 HOUR ALL AROUND THIS WORLD LIVE STREAMING GLOBAL MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA! (December 7 to Sunday, December 8)
As I’ve been building my crowdfunding campaign — ongoing until December 21st–FUND ME, CROWD, FUND ME!–I was thinking a lot about how cool it is that All Around This World can now take us, musically, to over 100 countries on every inhabited continent. Inspired by a recent 24 hour concert of Indian Classical music in Philadelphia that celebrated the exciting fact that there are Hindustani ragas specifically intended to be performed at different times throughout the day, I’ve decided to present the All Around This World curriculum as a continuous thought in one ludicrous ’round the clock series of classes. Starting at 9am on Saturday, December 7th and going until either 8:59am on Sunday, December 8th, or until whenever I give up, I intend to teach two classes from each of the All Around This World seasons–two from Latin America, then two from Africa, then two from South and Central Asia, etc.–until I’ve introduced material from each of the 12 AATW seasons. Each class will actually be about 45 minutes, starting each hour on the hour, with fifteen minutes at the end for families attending live to come in an out, and for me to take a couple minutes to relax.
This will be both a live event that will take place in my “home studio”–you and you family can attend any of the classes in real life in my living room–and also a live streaming event that anyone anywhere around the world with an internet connection will be able to join. I know most of the time I’ll just be playing music to a lone camera, but I’m going to publicize the webstream as far and wide as I can, with the hope that while I’m singing songs from, let’s say, the Middle East at 1am in Philadelphia, some mom and their kids will be dancing around with me in Dubai.