Kiddie Rock meets Classical on Dec. 16 at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville (171 E. Chicago Avenue) as Grammy-nominated kids' music star Ralph Covert - ruler of “Ralph’s World” - performs two unique holiday concerts with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets: $10 adults/$8 children. FYI: (630) 637-7469 or www.dupagesymphony.org
Chicago kid celeb Covert will sing new orchestral arrangements of well known Ralph’s World songs (including originals from his never-officially released “A Holly Jolly Christmas” CD), plus traditional holiday classics. Covert will also give an updated narration of “’’Twas The Night Before Christmas” with accenting from the orchestra.
Covert is excited to be working with some of Chicago’s most gifted arrangers for this program, including: Mike Salvatori, known for the Halo Video Games, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Beyond The Score” program, and a forthcoming collaboration with Paul McCartney. The pairing is appropriate, as the media has hailed Covert “the McCartney for the under 4-foot crowd.”
Covert began (and continues) his musical career as guitarist/singer/songwriter for Chicago’s indie rock band, The Bad Examples, but added “children’s artist” to his resume after becoming a father. His now teenage daughter Fiona who helped inspire the creation of Ralph’s World, has followed in dad’s footsteps having embarked on her own musical career in Los Angeles. Her first album comes out this month. Helping inspire Ralph’s World these days is Covert’s 3-year-old son Jude Scott.
The global phenomenon known as Ralph’s World – Covert’s songs are now being used to teach English in China via a network of Disney-created private schools -- includes several albums, 14 music videos shown on Playhouse Disney and four others through Bar/None Records. Covert’s latest project, the children's stage musical, “The Hundred Dresses” (based on the Eleanor Estes classic), has played to sold-out audiences.
Check out Ralph’s World songs, videos and additional info at: www.ralphsworld.com.
• Long time region musician and music teacher, Joe Marcinek, best known to readers of this column for his tenure in Northwest Indiana’s funk-rock sextet Fresh Hops, celebrated the release of his first solo CD this week.
The eight original songs on the CD, “Both Sides,” were laid down at The Alley Recording Company in Valparaiso and co-produced with veteran studio talent Marc Nelson, with performances by several guest artists from the region – Buddy Pearson (bass), Pete Koopmans (drums), Waz (keys), Stephen Cook (violin), and Adam Turman (saxophone)
The writing and the performances are top shelf. The audio quality rivals the best that major labels and major artists are releasing. Personal favorites from the CD include opening cut “60 Degrees (In January),” “Thundersnow,” and title track, “Both Sides.” Facebook: joe.marcinek.1
Crown Point’s 27-year-old Marcinek first “hopped” into public performing 16 years ago, when he started rocking with his high school band, Frog The Jam, before going on to earn a B.A. in Music Business from Indiana State University, where he studied jazz and classical guitar. While developing a solo career, Marcinek, continues with Fresh Hops, which has performed over 500 concerts in 9 states since forming in 2008. More: www.freshhopsmusic.com
• Join me Saturday as I serve up complimentary donuts donated by The County Line Orchard in Hobart during the noon to 4 p.m. open house and “Christmas Party For The Animals” at The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana (6100 Melton Road)) in Miller. Donuts, cider, coffee and more will be offered to all of the shelter animals’ party guests. More: (219) 938-3339 or www.millercritters.com.