Dan Zanes and Friends

Dan Zanes is known for making actual family music, not kids’ songs adults can somewhat tolerate. With his trademark green jacket and ringleader’s hat, Zanes has the vibe of an old-time entertainer. On albums like the Grammy-winning Catch That Train, he sings folksy songs crafted for a kid’s ear. But any adult music-lover has to appreciate the very mature alchemy that goes into Zanes’s work: Train features boundary-breaking string ensemble the Kronos Quartet, gospel legends the Blind Boys of Alabama, and a children’s choir from a South African orphanage. His upcoming release is ¡Nueva York!, a collection from the Spanish-speaking Americas that, according to Zanes’s Web site, “celebrat[es] some of the vibrant culture that comes with immigration,” (a rather bold, political comment for a children’s entertainment). By proving that entertainment made for a tot doesn’t have to grate on the nerves of a mom or dad, Zanes gives us all yet another reason to hate on High School Musical. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For tickets and information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $22 to 47.
Sat., March 8, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., 2008
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Nick Keppler