The Detroit News said of them, "If the Pied Piper had been twins, odd are he would have been Gemini." Since 1973, Gemini, Ann Arbor’s nationally-known children’s music duo, has played traditional and original folk music for well over a million children at elementary schools throughout the country. Excellent singers, the twin brothers, San and Laz, also play more than a dozen instruments — guitar, fiddle, mandolin, pennywhistle, harmonica, slide whistle, South American pan pipes, Native American flute, and percussion instruments such as the Appalachian limberjack, spoons, tambourine, African shakers, and the “bones.”
Gemini’s numerous recordings have won awards from the American Library Association, Parent’s Choice Magazine, the National Parenting Publications, and Early Childhood News, and their live-concert video was chosen as one of the top ten children’s music videos in the Random House book, “Best of the Best for Children.” Recent appearances with Symphony Orchestras, and the Hal Leonard publication of two elementary school musical revues based on their songs have strengthened Gemini’s reputation as one of the finest groups in the country performing for children.
In each of their assembly concerts San and Laz play and demonstrate many unusual instruments and even bring children up on stage to play some of them. They explain the context or meaning of unfamiliar songs, and leave time for questions. Above all, the children are fully involved in the music making; on almost every song they sing along, do hand motions or learn American Sign Language.
This concert features Gemini's original songs about tolerance, self-esteem, building character, and celebrating diversity. San and Laz's music speaks to children about friendship, teamwork, caring, peace, respect, and the value of connecting on a deep level to nature, to our own selves, and to each other. These songs engage with values in a meaningful, yet non-dogmatic, child-appropriate, fun way.
Gemini's songs celebrate the everyday experiences of childhood and family life; topics include pets, food, school, sports, and other aspects of growing up. All of Gemini's songs — in a variety of musical styles, from Folk and Blues to 50's Doo Wop, Klezmer and Swing — have a positive, life affirming focus, and their themes are playful and very accessible to children.
This concert begins with a greeting song in many languages, and includes traditional songs from Mexico, Israel, Russia, West Africa, a Hungarian folk tale (translated into English), and a pan pipe melody from Ecuador. A special part of the concert is devoted to the traditional folk music of the United States, including a fiddle tune with the Appalachian limberjack, an African-American spiritual, a tune played on a traditional Native American flute, and a Stephen Foster song. A magical musical tour around the world!
San and Laz offer a special show that includes holiday songs and stories from five different traditions; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali (the Indian New Year), and Chinese New Year. The show celebrates both the diversity of cultures and our common humanity. A special feature of the show is a number of original songs San and Laz have written about the underlying meaning of all of these holidays — the spirit of sharing, giving gifts, love and peace amongst all people.
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