Whether you’re looking for ways to stimulate a developing young mind, you’d like to introduce children to the pleasures of music, or you just want your kids to have FUN, you’ll find Kinderjazz’s collection of blues, latin, ragtime, jazz, and swing music is perfect for girls and boys under the age of 12. The one-of-a-kind swing band for children has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, and their recorded music is specifically written to engage young children, while simultaneously appealing to adults of all ages. Parents love it because it is jazz and its educational in a fun way, grandparents love it because it takes them back. Children love the rhythms and enjoy the instruments.

Kinderjazz is a 12 piece fully acoustic swing orchestra, featuring some of the best musicians in Australia. They have opened Manly Jazz Festival in 1998, and since then, have performed at the Sydney Opera House, Daring Harbour, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Parramatta Stadium, to more than 10,000 families, Carols in the Domain 2000 on Channel 7, Stadium Australia and many major venues around Australia.

“We are passionately committed to bringing the magical world of music and its instruments to children of all ages.” That’s not saying everything about Kinderjazz but it’s a start. Their new release The Teddy Bears Picnic goes a long way in saying the rest. First of all it goes through all of the motions of Matilda and CO, but it’s done with jazz music by serious professionals. These are all great players and singers to their credit. “Arabella” starts off with what probably goes the distance with the best on offer here. Man this is good, the way they convey things for the kids but put on a show of musical expertise, is second to none.

This is a perfect thing of beauty in so many ways. Hats off to everyone including the producer for this great performance. Any budding musician wanting to learn could follow as well as stay interested in subject matter. There is a popular storyline here, but not known to everyone. The title track “The Teddy Bears Picnic” follows with a good standard run though at just the right pace to call it their own. “In The Micro Aykho” is another high point for me with a lot of energy. It’s the most playful piece on the whole CD if you ask me. This is a lot of fun, musical lesson to be had or not, storyline or not. You can dance all night to this and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Crank it up and get a line going, it’s pure fun for everyone. That’s the first thing I think when I hear what’s going on here, and the fun just keeps going with “Razzmatazz” which cooks all over the place about being in the Kinderjazz. This is probably has the most instructor feel to it, not that the rest don’t have any. But it goes the distance in that area.

The fun can’t be denied, neither can the awesomeness. It’s proven even more as the set goes. “Do The Latin Alphabet” is also strongly clinical for those in the learning seat, which they make no secret of. This is another high point, with more to learn about and more to dance to. It really is amazing how this band hasn’t made more noise, but something tells me this will be their time. They’re that good and deserve it and this is another track that proves it. They even get cleverly deep and philosophical with “Homework Blues” as a means to meet every mood to be found in the jazz realm. This is one of the best tracks for my money, but then it’s more of a concept you can consider to be all one song anyway. That’s some more of the beauty of it and Kinderjazz. I know this one helps pull them altogether for me by adding just the right drama. “What’s Cooking Double Booking” is an instrumental and one of the best track on the release. They really show their chops on this and round the whole production out in the music department. Everyone puts on a jubilant performance, with a very festive delivery. “Fantabulous” is another zany number with a twist. This is one of the more youthful tracks to dig into, with a showbiz vibe. This one is probably one of the best tracks for the kids to follow, but I love it too. It goes right into “You Can’t Stop The Music” which isn’t bad but goes by so fast it might as well be left off, which is why it slips a little for me. To help learn about the Teddy Bears, the last two parts are narrated, and it helps anyone, including students leaning from this record, what the concept of the record is. I think anyone would find this worth listening to and like it as a result, it doesn’t matter what age. Kinderjazz are very entertaining. Their back catalog has got to be worth seeking as well, which is another testament to The Teddy bears Picnic.

Cory Frye