Women of Aviation Worldwide Week! + Song by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

“Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” — Amelia Earhart

Having a daughter who is bright, strong-willed (read: confident), and fearless has taught me so much. She is small but curious and constantly seeks answers to greater things. One of the many questions that frequently perplexes her is why there are more boys doing things than girls. Some of those things include plumbing, construction, being president, space exploration, even ninjas. And, don’t even get her started on why boys don’t take the girl’s name when they get married or why every classic princess story ends with the princess marrying the prince (or, as she would say, “yeah yeah then they get married, blah blah blah”). I wish I could say that I had a part in provoking this charge in her, other than a result of a crazy combo of genetics, but I don’t. She is a thinker and a seeker and I love that about her. At 5-years-old anything is possible whether you are a boy and especially if you are a girl! As I listen to her questions, sometimes in awe, I try to answer as best I can to the tune of empowering her to follow her passions and to be the one that makes a change.

So this all ties into the fact that it’s Women of Aviation Worldwide week! First, I must say that I am a fan of the site A Mighty Girl. In summary, “The site was founded on the belief that all children should have the opportunity to read books, play with toys, listen to music, and watch movies that offer positive messages about girls and honor their diverse capabilities.” They posted the Amelia Earhart quote, featured at the beginning of this post, on their Facebook page which subsequently inspired my thoughts above.

Secondly, there’s always room to celebrate with a song! “8000 Feet” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band was inspired by Amelia Earhart. I present it to you in honor of The First Lady of Flight and all the other mighty girls who are seeking out their dreams, whether it is actually flying 8000 feet in the sky or ambitiously seeking out greater things on the ground. It’s awesome!

8000 Feet” can be heard on LDFJB’s most recent release, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. You can preview the entire album here which I absolutely suggest. It’s brimming with vibrancy, life and as much wonder about the world as my little mighty mouse has. Lishy Lou and Lucky Too is also available via iTunes.

View This: Lishy Lou and Lucky Too – TV Show Intro

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Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band are having a wonderful year! ¡Fantastico!, their first Spanish-language album was just nominated for a Grammy and they are about to release (October 1) their next album Lishy Lou and Lucky Too which is the companion for a TV show.

As you can see from the intro, the show is filled with vibrant color and character (and colorful characters!). Looking at this video, and really any pictorial representation of Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the notion that what you wear reflects your personality comes to mind. Although, I would say they radiate a whole spectrum of colors, much like a rainbow. Their spectacular display is visible in their music, stage presence and on-screen. 

If you didn’t catch the video for the first single, “Thingamajig” from the upcoming album Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, make sure to check it out. It’s a hoot!

View This: “Thingamajig” – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

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We are loving this video for “Thingamajig” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band! It’s just about as sweet as the Hershey’s candy bar that once shared its name. The band’s first live-action video is filled with vibrancy and aptly displays the magnetic connection between the husband-wife team, Alisha Gaddis and Lucky Diaz. Both are frequently referred to as the cutest couple in the kindie world, which is true, but they also bring a level of energy and positivity to their music which is infectious. You just can’t have a bad day when you listen to this band!

Listen to and grab your copy of this song here!

“Thingamajig,” is from their upcoming album, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, which is set for release October 1. In conjunction with the release will also be the unveiling of a children’s live-action TV show called “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too.”

Like the video for “Thingamajig,” the show will be filled with brightly colored visuals featuring the characters Lishy Lou and Lucky Too who live together in a magical treehouse and are visited by friends and guests. Each episode follows Lishy, Lucky and their myriad of friends and guests as they solve various problems that come up. They’re a bilingual household (English and Spanish) that is always filled with music and dance, encouraging movement and learning through song.

So get your dancing shoes on and get ready to jump, jive and swing as the music of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band once again set the stage for the perfect dance party!

Summer Songs

It’s heating up here on the West Coast and we’ve been spending alot of time in the car searching for cooler places.  As such, we have been racking up a list of some summer songs that take our minds to a better place and off the scorching introduction to summer.

Below is a Spotify playlist of just some of our favorites.  It includes old and new tunes we hope you’ll enjoy.

KidQuake! – The Not-Its! from KidQuake!
The Ground – Underbirds from Underbirds
The Seven Cs – Recess Monkey from Deep Sea Diver
Sailing – Ratboy Jr. from Champions of the Universe
A Bailar – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band from ¡fantastico!
Go! – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Bikeride (Bonus Track) – Vered from Good Morning My Love
Lazy Raisins – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke from Pleased To Meet You
Big Wheel – The Pop Ups from Outside Voices
Bully Bully – Shine and the Moonbeams from Shine Your Shine
Sunshine Through My Window – Play Date from Imagination
We Just Wanna Have Fun – Milkshake from Got a Minute?
The Way It Goes – Grenadilla from Can’t Wait
Yes, We Have Rhythm – Lunch Money from Silly Reflection
Little Cloud (feat. Rachel Loshak) – Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights from Bandwagon
I Go – Mariana Iranzi from Hola Hello
Beautiful Mess – Kindiependent from The Happy Birthday EP
Turn Around – Cat Doorman from Songbook
Rain – Paul Spring from Home of Song

Check this out: ¡Fantastico! – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

LDFJB_FANTASTICO_WEBWhen I look through childhood photos and see my grandmother, I recall her singing to me in her own language. While I didn’t understand the words at first, repetition and the rich, steady rhythm of her voice compelled me to sing along. Naturally, my mother also sang those songs, sometimes accompanied by the piano as my sister and I gathered around her. This passage of song and tradition is something that still exists in my family today and is always revived when we get together. As I watch my own daughter take my place as the babe in my grandmother’s/mother’s arms, I recall those days fondly and am grateful to be able to share a piece of our history with her.

This is the feeling I get from listening to ¡Fantastico!, the first Spanish-language album by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. On a recent trip to visit family in Texas, Diaz reconnected with his Mexican heritage and was inspired by the experience of sharing it with his daughter, Ella. “Tres Ratones,” initially featured on last year’s highly acclaimed A Potluck, and included on ¡Fantastico!, was the first all Spanish track to come out of that trip.

¡Fantastico! also features one new song by Diaz. “La Vibora,” a quick paced dance tune, is a traditional Latin song which was sung to Diaz by his grandmother and mother when he was a child. The rest of the songs have been reworked and could easily be considered original. For example, “ABC is the Place To Be” appears as “Los Numeros.” Curious about the translation process and the making of this record, I had a chance to speak with Diaz who explained, “We worked with a producer in Texas, named Noe Benitez. He really helped tighten the translation part up as well. We wanted the Latino community to feel the songs’ authenticity but also wanted non-Spanish speakers to enjoy them and feel they could sing along.” As a fan of Diaz’s existing work, I can completely concur that this album is one your family will enjoy regardless of your mother tongue.

While many of the songs aren’t direct translations, we particularly enjoy listening to the English and Spanish versions together. Hearing the English words and understanding the story within the song gives us an idea of what the words mean in the Spanish versions. It’s an educational process that I love engaging in with my daughter even though she is able to follow along with the Spanish words just fine on her own. In fact, she prefers the Spanish versions at times, excited by the fact that she is learning and speaking a new language.

Although we have many favorites, “Tres Ratones” was and continues to be the reigning champion. It’s a fun song about a hungry cat and three mice. The song’s catchy chorus naturally encourages participation as the cat says “meow meow meow.” Other songs we dig are the surf rock beats of “Gato Astronata,” the retro-pop sweetness of Alisha Gaddis’s “uh oh’s” in “A Bailar” and the humorous banter between Diaz and his daughter in “¿Qué dices?” The latter, like its English counterpart, includes some fine scat singing by Diaz which is something my daughter loves to imitate. Randomly hearing “zom bom bom bom ba doba daba doombop boombada do bop” followed by “qué dices” from the mouth of a 4 year old is awesome!

¡Fantastico! is a colorful album steeped in tradition and a perfect reintroduction to the sweet sounds of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Moving from last year’s communal supper to an all out gran fiesta, Diaz and the crew succeed again in delivering hip, danceable tracks that are filled with undeniable charm and infectious pop melodies.

You can listen to and purchase ¡Fantastico! via the Bandcamp widget below, as well as Amazon and iTunes.

Listen to this: Holiday Road Trip and Party Playlist

Turn up the holiday cheer with these 10 holiday and seasonal songs.  Whether you are going on a trip or bringing the fun into your own home you will definitely find cheer among this timely list of tunes!

This, my friends, is the right list for the job.

Happy holidays!

Credits include the following (provided by SoundCloud)

1. Nogturne in C Minor by The Jimmies : http://www.gimmejimmies.com
2. Oh, Hanukkah by Randy Kaplan: http://www.randykaplan.com and www.mykazootv.com
3. The Great Dreidel Tournament by Groovy David http://www.groovydavid.com
4. Eat Your Fruitcake by Farmer Jason http://www.farmerjason.com and www.mykazootv.com
5. Untangling the Christmas Lights by Brady Rymer http://www.bradyrymer.com
6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by The Not-Its! http://www.wearethenot-its.com
7. Under the Tree by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band http://www.luckydiazmusic.com
8. Too Many Presents by Uncle Rock http://www.unclerock.com
9. Frosty the Snowman by Randy Kaplan http://www.randykaplan.com
10. Jingle Bells by Renee & Jeremy http://www.reneeandjeremy.com

View this: “Man Gave Names” – Aaron Nigel Smith

Great new video from Aaron Nigel Smith‘s recent release Welcome to the Villagefeaturing the children of One World Chorus and some enthusiastic puppets who each land a role as an animal in the song.  Listeners will be entertained as they hear Laurie Berkner, Lucky Diaz and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo rock out with Aaron and the rest of the children, er I mean animals, to a rendition of Dylan’s “Man Gave Names to all the Animals.”

Enjoy!

[Courtesy of YouTube]