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"Christylez Bacon Wins Grammy® Nomination With Cathy & Marcy for ‘Banjo to Beatbox’"

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banjos (51k image)Takoma Park, MD (December 23, 2009) – Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxera and Christon "Christylez" Bacon have won a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Musical Album for Children for their newest family recording, Banjo to Beatbox. The Recording Academy’s award nominations were announced on December 2nd and the winners will be announced on Sunday, January 31st at the 52nd annual GRAMMY Awards event in Los Angeles. Banjo to Beatbox has also won top awards from Parents’ Choice, NAPPA, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Mr. Dad and Creative Child magazine this fall.

“Whoever thought that beatbox (mouth drums), cello banjo and five-string banjo would become the centerpiece of a GRAMMY nominated collaboration?” quips Fink, who with Marxer has won 2 previous GRAMMYs and several nominations.

Christylez Bacon (pronounced: chris-styles) is a Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from
Southeast, Washington, DC. As a performer, Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beatbox (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

The brainchild of a very prolific team, Banjo to Beatbox was born out of jam sessions at the Music Center at Strathmore in Maryland, where then 22 year old D.C. hip-hop sensation Christylez Bacon was an emerging artist-in-residence. Cathy and Marcy were artist mentors at the Strathmore and recognized Bacon’s talent immediately. (for the full story, see this article). The GRAMMY winning children’s music veterans and the hip-hoppin’ newcomer found that their music jibed, and soon cooked up something that the critics are raving about as a truly different and important release. Here are the lyrics to the call and response “Hip Hop Humpty Dumpty,” an offbeat arrangement that topped Sirius-XM Kids Place Live Radio’s hit parade for many weeks:

Humpty Dumpty was sitting on the wall
With his legs back and forth because he wasn't very tall
He was a egg with a couple of legs
The only guy I know whose stomach was right next to his head


Other songs on Banjo to Beatbox demonstrate the unique mix of traditional and fresh new musical styles. Sounds of the washboard, banjo-cello and five-string banjo seem to reinvent old-time country music on “New River Train.” The song “Jubilation” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Rhyming everything they could think of with “a-tion,” the duo ran a contest for new verses from fans, in the best collaborative folk music-making tradition. Cathy & Marcy engaged an up and coming film director in creating the ever playful animated video of the “Jubilation” song, complete with puppets and theatrical effects.

Banjo to Beatbox has found wide critical acclaim, including the National Parenting Publications’ Gold award review this month: “This delightful hybrid album of classic-folk-meets-hip-hop includes a stunning modern touch.” Examiner.com’s note that “it’s like the Indigo Girls meets Bobby McFerrin,” and Zooglobble Poet Nikki Giovanni (author of the book Hip Hop Speaks to Children) testifies to “the energy, the joy, the exuberance...The kids need to hear this. It was a blast!"

This year, the trio of Cathy, Marcy and Christylez performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Wolf Trap Theater in the Woods, Philadelphia Children’s Festival and is already booked for next summer’s season at the Music Center at Strathmore as well as a performance at the Grammy Museum during the 2010 Grammy Week. In 2010,Cathy and Marcy’s Songshop will release a new DVD series, Meet the Instruments, and an interactive CD by Michele Valeri, Little Ditties for Itty Bitties.

Banjo to Beatbox
Available from Community Music, Inc. Suggested prices: download: $6.99; EP disc: $7.99
More information: www.cathymarcy.com
For more information on Christylez Bacon, visit: www.christylez.com/


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