Wake Up, Clarinet! is the first family release for Etkin, who was a featured performer on Putumayo Kids' award-winning compilation album Jazz Playground earlier this year and whose 2009 release Kelenia was named Best World Beat Album by the Independent Music Awards. Etkin's Timbalooloo music education method effortlessly conveys sophisticated concepts in a fun musical language that kids of all ages can understand.
From the first song, High Low," it's apparent that this is no ordinary children's recording. The song helps children internalize the concept of pitch through be-bopping musical phrasings and an easy going conversation between Etkin and Wade. Their jazzy take on the familiar nursery rhyme, the Little Lamb Jam," is so engaging it was selected for the recent Putumayo Kids CD Jazz Playground, which won a 2010 Parents' Choice Gold Award and placed Etkin in the national spotlight for his children's music. The Philadelphia Daily News ran a feature article headlined Pied Piper Oran Etkin Wakes Up Instruments and Audiences."
After this rousing start, we get to the title song, Wake Up Clarinet." The instrument literally comes to life through Etkin's masterful , vocal style of performance. With the fourth and fifth tracks, even very young children will be singing Eh La Bas" New Orleans style, and they'll even be able to tell their parents which French king the state of Louisiana was named after. Wake Up Clarinet! works both to introduce musical concepts and paint a captivating picture rich with historical and cultural context.
Oran Etkin has been described as a great clarinetist" and an excellent improviser" by The New York Times' jazz critic Ben Ratliff and a woodwind maestro" by PRI's Afropop Worldwide. He has performed around the world with musicians ranging from jazz guitarist Mike Sternto rapper Wyclef Jean. His 2009 album Kelenia (Motema Music) fuses traditional Malian and Jewish music with modern jazz. Etkin brings this diverse perspective to his music for children, which incorporates rhythms and melodies from all over the world.
Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo gets its name from a three year old boy enrolled in Etkin's music classes, who expressed his extreme musical excitement by sitting his parents and baby brother down for a 20 minute music class" during which he pretended to be Oran and demonstrated to his pupils" a new instrument he called the timbalooloo. The story captures the essence of Etkin's mission: to excite children about the wonders of music and musical instruments and encourage their creative freedom and personal ingenuity.
Etkin plans a busy fall concert tour and music classes. For more information, visit http://www.oranetkin.com/wakeupclarinet.htm or the Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo page on Facebook.
Oran Etkin's Wake Up, Clarinet! CD Release Concerts
Saturday, September 11World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Friday, September 24Fifth and I, Washington DC
Saturday, September 25Highline Ballroom, NYC
Sunday, September 26Saratoga Springs Public Library, NY
Sunday, October 17McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA