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Kids' Funk with a Jewish Twist

CD: Shabbat Shaboom by Moma Doni. Mama Doni excels at creating music that makes customs of her Jewish ancestors accessible to their modern descendants. In Shabbat Shaboom, the Lower Merion, PA, native constructs her “funky music with a Jewish twist” around Shabbat, or the Sabbath.

The music resonates with references to gatherings of family (mishpocha), lighting candles and other rituals of Jewish family life. Head directly to the title cut’s rocking celebration of the time each week when “everybody gets dressed up, hangin’ out and catching up.” It’s the mix of old themes with new music that makes “Challah-Day” so familiar to anyone who ever baked with her grandmother, yet it’s the infectious dance-ability of the song that makes it memorable.

The patter between songs gets old, but the songs reveal musical gems like “My Mishpocha,” a twangy countrified litany of family uniqueness. Bonus tracks include Mama Doni’s more traditional approaches to the Friday and Saturday night blessings, both of which would please the most conservative listener. Perfect production and Mama Doni’s outstanding musicianship lift Shabbat Shaboom to a new level of greatness in music for Jewish families. www.mamadoni.com

Song: "Cleaning Hullabaloo" by Cake for Dinner on their self-named CD, Cake for Dinner.

Putting lyrics about counting and cleaning to a well-known Italian tarantella melody works because the musicianship is brilliant. “Cleaning Hullaballoo” is the kind of memorable musical teaching tool that sweeps up the most virulent anti-cleaner among us. www.cakefordinnermusic.com

Event:  Philadelphia's World Cafe Live is expanding into Wilmington, DE.

With a target opening date of April 1, the new music venue will be housed in the renovated Queen Theatre. World Café Live’s Peanut Butter & Jams kids’ concert series will have a home in the First State as well. They’re hitting a homerun with their initial lineup. World music maven Daria opens the series on April 9. A couple of Grammy-nominated kids’ favorites round out later in the month with Milkshake, April 16 and Brady Rymer, April 23. http://queen.worldcafelive.com

Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.

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