Inclusivity and fun to guide an afternoon of music in New Canaan
A weekend might mean a concert and a benefit, as is presently the case. A performance might feature a classic by the Ramones, quickly followed by a song by Raffi.
"We'll play The Beatles, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, a children's song maybe, and then we'll have the kids play with these tubes, or a didgeridoo," said Mazur, a multi-instrumentalist who makes sure to have a bunch of instruments for audience members to try.
This pair of 2010 New York University graduates have recently started taking their musical and performance skills to venues across the area to provide music to children of all abilities, as well as their families.
On Saturday, April 27, the pair will be at the New Canaan Public Library to present an afternoon of " `C' Variations," a 45-minute program that features a sample of musical genres, as well as a fully participatory experience of movement-based songs and interactive moments.
The show is recommended for toddlers to elementary school-aged children.
The two are particularly attuned to performing for children on the autism spectrum and hope those families of special-needs children make a point to come out on Saturday.
"But we also want this to be inclusive," said Mazur, who grew up in Livingston, N.J., and now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. "We want brothers and sisters to come. This is not just for children with autism."
Mazur recently decided to take his background in early childhood development and autism intervention and team it with his musical and performance skills. He said he discovered his path after working with children and teenagers with autism in the New York City schools.
"The best times would be when I would bring in my guitar and play," he said. "The kids would be up and on their feet and would really open up to me."
He joined forces with Kveton, a Wallingford native who also lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., to create some shows under the auspices of their new company, Turtle Dance Music. Mazur's two turtles were the inspiration behind the name.
"We really offer a very playful environment," said Kveton, but added that they are always mindful of the effect their music and the play is having on the group. "If someone is having a hard time, we'll slow it down."
The two said one of their favorite songs to play is "Across the Universe" by the Beatles.
"Everyone gets really quiet, very focused," said Mazur. "The room gets very peaceful."
The two hope to take this message of fun and ability a bit further.
"We ultimately would like to expand it," said Kveton, who also is a playwright and actor. He said that they are looking to create a theatrical show based on their work.
In the meantime, one can likely catch one of their shows in the tri-state area. Or, if you haven't gotten enough of them by the end of their set in New Canaan, head up to Sheehan High School in Wallingford later in the evening where they will perform in a benefit concert for a girl with cerebral palsy. Money raised will help in her treatment.
"I think the show is very funny and we want the kids to laugh a lot," Mazur said. "The emphasis is not just on the music, but the interaction with the kids. It's all the eye contact and high-fives and movement. That's the heart of the program."
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