Only a few days til 123 Andrés

123 Andrés is one of the most exciting new voices on the family music scene in the US and Latin America – “A rockstar for little language learners” according to Billboard Magazine. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Andrés brings to audiences joyful sounds, passion for bilingualism and a high-energy love of music that gets kids singing and dancing in Spanish and English.

On Sunday, October 15, join Latin Grammy-winning Andrés on an exciting cultural journey of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance, when he presents at Flushing Town Hall. Families will sing and dance to rhythms while gaining knowledge of vocabulary in English and Spanish. Children will be encouraged to use their imaginations to ride an airplane and join in singing songs that will entice dancing while practicing new vocabulary.

The 2:15 PM family performance will be preceded by a 1:00 PM interactive arts workshop. Tickets are available here.

What can an audience expect to see/experience at your (performance, workshop, event)?

Our family workshop will focus on using music to expand children’s vocabulary and language skills, including for children who are growing up with two or more languages. We will get the whole family involved in singing, making movements to songs, playing with words, and even writing whole new songs. I really enjoy seeing families be creative together!

At our concert, Christina and I will be joined by our band – so expect a high-energy show! We’ll play some classics as well as songs from our albums, and everyone – regardless of age – is invited to stand up to dance and jump. During the concert you’ll also see that Christina and Andrés have a disagreement that we have to resolve.

After the concert, children may want to talk about all of the instruments they heard, or about Andrés and Christina’s disagreement and how we resolved it. Talking and retelling shared experiences is an important way for children to develop early literacy skills, so we hope that the concert is a jumping off point for lots of family conversations!

What do you hope audiences learn/discover/feel at one of your events?

I hope families leave the hall singing one of our songs! We hope adults get to enjoy a unique time of interaction with their children. We always say that our concerts aren’t kids’ shows but family shows, so we hope that each member of the family leaves having learned something and having laughed or smiled at some aspect of the concert.

Tell us about you – how you started as a (performer, artist, photographer, etc.)?

I started as a kid, in Bogotá, Colombia. One day when I was six, my dad was walking by a community center and heard kids’ voices singing. It turned out to be a kids’ music group.

My dad signed me and my brother up. In the group we sang many traditional kids songs and learned to play the recorder. We would perform, singing and dancing, at community events in Bogotá. Then, when I was nine, we had the opportunity to participate in recording an album of kids music called “El Ratoncito Marinero.”

Around same time my dad started teaching me to play the guitar. Then I went on to study the clarinet at the Conservatory and then in college, and then in grad school. I also played in lots of other bands, from rock to opera to Norteña to Latin Jazz. It wasn’t until after I finished graduate school that I decided to come back full circle and dedicate myself to music for children and families full-time.

Where did you grow up / where do you live? (this helps us when we pitch local media in NYC)?

I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to the US for graduate school. We travel a lot so we live in many places but mostly in the Washington DC area and Kansas City!

What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?

Coming to Flushing Town Hall means coming to one of the most diverse places in the world, where hearing multiple languages is a part of daily life. I come here with an open heart not only to share my music but to learn from this vibrant community.

What is on the horizon for you (what other projects are you working on? Do you have a book/movie/recording coming out?)

We are working on two new albums at the same time! One project is a CD of lullabies, with some traditional and some original songs. The other album… will also be for families but the theme will be totally different from lullabies. It’s still a surprise but stay tuned!

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