Rock The Cradle: The Hip Tot Music Fest

Are you ready to rock? We sure as hell hope so because beginning this Sunday, July 8th at the Littlefield performance space in Gowanus, the Hip Tot Music Festival is about to blow the lid off the toy box and send the whole family into fits of dancing bliss. Hip Tot founders Adam Meyer and Gabby Napolitano, born and bred Brooklynites hailing from Park Slope, wanted to bring a family -friendly music event to their community. Their endeavor draws from Adam’s seasoned career in the music industry and Gabby’s Hip kid empire, which began as second-hand children’s boutique called Still Hip, and has segued into a family-centric marketing company called Still Hip Promotions. “The idea is to make Hip Tot a family community that encourages live performance and small business,” says Gabby of her vision for the monthly series.

Looking for the perfect venue to facilitate their Hip Tot Music Fest Gabby and Adam partnered up with the uber-hip performance and art space Littlefield in the cozy industrial neighborhood of Gowanus. With a state-of-the-art-sound-system and space for 400 hundred people, Littlefield is the ultimate space for song, dance and a child-size mosh pit. And for those parents looking to take the edge off, Gabby tells us “Littlefield has a full bar! And they make great Bloody Mary’s. Just sayin’.”

The Hip Tot Music Fest has curated an exciting array of great musical acts (click here to download a sampling of the songs you’ll hear) and a fantastic array of sideshows and local guest vendors such as the Ms. J’s Gymnastics troupe showcase, Plum Organics snack giveaways, Scrapkins craft activities and Face painting with Candy and Lady Z.

First up this Sunday, July 8th is Brooklyn-based trio Tres Leches. Havalah Collins, Renée Skuba, and Jessie White are mothers and songstresses that found it totally au natural to begin creating music for little ones. But with a sound reminiscent of Luscious Jackson, parents are easily able to groove to the sounds of Tres Leches. Designer kids furniture and clothing brand Oeuf will also be on hand with a major sample sale.

For the second act on August 12th Suzi Shelton takes the stage. Shelton is a performer with deep ties in the parenting community and has been bestowed with a gaggle of awards from the likes of Parents’ Choice, the Children’s Music Web, iParenting Media and a 2007 Gold Award from the National Parenting Publications. Her hit song “Tomboy in a Princess Dress” has a southern twang with kick-butt acoustic guitar stylings.

Next up on September 9th is Audra Rox. Audra and her acoustic guitar create infectious tunes such as “Sugar High” and “I Live in a Walk Up” that have all little music lovers memorizing her lyrics. She’s a staple on the Brooklyn kids scene and if you’ve ever joined a class with Audra you know that she has an extraordinary ability to engage with the kids and get them happily dancing and singing.

On October 14th the Deedle Deedle Dees are going to get Littlefield bopping with their retro cool sound and enormous stage presence. Being “America’s favorite teaching band” makes this event a double dose of fun and learning. What more could you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?

In the Fall Hip Tot closes out the series with two awesome acts—The Itty Biddies Nov. 11 and Jeremy Plays Guitar Dec. 9. The Itty Biddies, another trio of sweet songstresses, will bring out the kid in all of us (easy for the kids, sometimes not so easy for the parents). With storytelling through song the Itty Biddies take us on a trip through the wild with “Safari” and teach us to be kind with the melodic diddy “Neighbor”. You can anticipate jazzy pop with soaring vocals and a groovy bassline that will make you spin, jump and do the swim. For the grand finale Jeremy Plays Guitar will wow the crowd with what they call “Rock-ucation.” Singing songs from their album Use Your Words, maybe these guys will rock some sense into our kids. “House Rules” is a gem of a song with lyrics that dictate what we try our hardest to teach our kids each day—no shouting, no pouting, no spitting! It’s possible that you just may leave with well behaved kids and rockin’ good memories. It’s a win win!

All shows are the second Sundays of each month at 2pm. Tickets are $8 for children, $12 for adults (non-walkers free!). For more infromation or to purchase tickets go to HipTot.com.