As summer kicks off, Latin GRAMMY and Emmy Award winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band release a new album of original songs called Crayon Kids.
With so many families still reeling from the pandemic, this deep and uniquely upbeat and resonant album speaks to this moment. The first track “Generation C” reflects the challenging experiences of young families during the past year. The title track takes us on a walk around the diverse sights and sounds of New York City. Today’s “Crayon Kids” walk with ease through the sites and bilingual sounds of these bustling streets and subways.“Sábado” is simply a bilingual ode to the weekend and a great way to kick off a family dance party. The ska-beat tune is already an international radio hit (check out this “High Five” from Australia-based Kinderling Kids Radio).
Led by Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band are among the top artists in family music. For more than a decade, their songs and performances have celebrated diversity and inclusion, blending cultures seamlessly through song. Among their many awards and nominations, they won an Emmy Award for their kids’ variety show, “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too,” and Latin GRAMMYs for two of their family music albums:¡Fantastico! (2013) and ¡Buenos Diaz! (2019).
All the songs on the new album were recorded and produced during the intense months of the pandemic and social unrest. While quarantining in LA, Diaz and his frequent collaborator Michael Farkas (based in the Hudson Valley) worked and reworked the songs and arrangements. Farkas (known for his work with The Wiyos) explains the approach: “As parents, we had a desire to address the tensions, concerns and absurdity of the times both head-on and indirectly. It was new territory.”
Crayon Kids was produced by acclaimed producer Kenny Siegal, mixed by Matt Cullen and mastered by multiple GRAMMY winner Greg Calbi. The music is eclectic and upbeat. The third letter of the alphabet reappears in “Letter C,” and there’s a whole new (Martian) edition of “Dinomite!” to enjoy. The nine-song album ends on a hopeful note with “Better Together” featuring soothing background vocals by GRAMMY nominee Frances England. Like Lucky’s new children’s book Paletero Man and all of the LDFJB albums, the album’s cover artwork is by Micah Player.
Crayon Kids represents new directions for Lucky Diaz and his band. He explains, “When we started the Family Jam Band, we wanted to continually evolve. The project has always been about being fun and original. It then turned into a cultural journey for me as a Mexican-American, creating songs that are rooted in my pocho and Latinx identity.”
Diaz and Gaddis are planning concerts to promote the new book and album this summer. For the latest updates, connect with them on Instagram and Facebook. For the full story behind Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, visit http://luckydiazmusic.com/about.