Dan Zanes is not the kind of performer who likes to sit on the stage and perform to a quiet, well-behaved audience. Rather, he’s looking for interaction and even invites audience members young and old to join him on stage.
Rhode Islanders will get a chance to experience the fun this Saturday, Sept. 27, when the Grammy Award-winning musician brings his Song Gusto Hour – a family sing-along – to the Odeum.
“The thing that’s enjoyable for me is when people participate,” said Zanes in an interview Wednesday. “When I perform, there’s a lot of singing along and interaction – it’s a good way to be a part of the human race.”
Zanes has been called the “crown prince of contemporary kid’s music” by People magazine. His music spans everything from sea shanties to folk music to early rock-and-roll. His most recent release, Get Loose and Get Together, is a compilation of his greatest hits from the past 15 years.
“I understand young people better than I used to,” said Zanes. In addition to being a dad himself, Zanes is now part of a team creating an early childhood music program at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music called Dan Zanes House Party.
“I’ve gotten a lot better at writing songs,” he said, adding that over the years, his approach has become simpler. “I’m just trying to break it down to its most basic ingredients.”
One of his goals is to write songs that audience members can sing along to pretty much right away, “without having to hear them a thousand times.”
And he’s all about sharing the stage.
“If people who know some of my music want to bring some instruments, there’s always room up on the stage,” said Zanes of the Odeum performance Saturday. “It’s going to be a party. That’s really the thing, the joy of music making.”
Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour, Odeum Theatre, Saturday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 –http://odeum.ticketleap.com/zanes/