CD showcases Chicago talent


Chicago Parent takes on new medium

"Singin' in the City" CD cover, with art by Susan Randstrom and design by Tom Greensfelder.  

We live in a great city, known for museums, Michael Jordan, deep-dish pizza and a world-class music scene. It's no surprise some of the best children's music comes out of Chicago.

With that in mind, Chicago Parent is releasing "Singin' in the City," a CD featuring nine local children's musicians. Music educator and Chicago Parent music reviewer Fred Koch produced the CD, the magazine's first venture outside of publishing.

"It's a natural fit," says Susy Schultz, Chicago Parent editor. "Chicago Parent's audience is parents, and music is very important to children."

As producer, Koch put his knowledge of music to work finding songs that reflect the variety of music recorded in Chicago, a city considered nationally as a hotbed for children's musicians. In choosing the best of the best, Koch's own criteria called for songs as stylistically different as possible.

"I think the best kids' music is the music that is more diverse," says Koch, who also runs a music resource Web site for parents, "Kids will listen to all kinds of music if you expose them to it. If it is meaningful and appropriate, they'll respond to it."

Tracks on "Singin' in the City" range from a variation on the traditional "Old King Cole" to bilingual pieces. Each featured artist contributed two prerecorded songs to the CD.

"Singin' in the City," geared toward the 3- to 7-year-old audience will be available Dec. 1 at for $14.95, plus tax and shipping. The CD can be purchased directly from the following retailers: Babies NBeds in Streamwood, Becky & Me Toys in Berwyn, DuPage Children's Museum Explorer Store in Naperville, Elgin Public Museum in Elgin, Old Town School of Folk Music (both locations) in Chicago and Val's halla Records in Oak Park. In the special language of Koch, "that is when most kids are oomping to children's music."

Young music lovers who can't get enough of Chicago music can also attend Chicago Parent's Kids' Concert Series, showcasing local artists featured on the CD. Justin Roberts will perform at 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at North Central College, 30 N. Brainard St. in Naperville. Ella Jenkins will perform at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at Moraine Valley Community College, 10900 S. 88th Ave. in Palos Hills. Koch will perform at 2 p.m. March 20 at the Music Institute, 1490 Chicago Ave. in Evanston. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children and will be available through the various box offices or online at Tickets for Ella Jenkins are only available at the Moraine Valley box office, in person or by calling (708) 974-5500.

Laura Bayard

Kids Eat Chicago

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