Joseph Zamberlin

Why Rhythm Village, and Why Should Anyone Care?


Kent Stevenson and Joseph Zamberlin

Rhythm Village, the TV show concept, is my brainchild. I proudly take credit for it, although Rhythm Village existed as a similar concept in a different format, part Kent Stevenson and part percussionist Jeff Bongo Busch, a traveling music workshop for kids in different Seattle area schools. Also the name itself is not exclusive to our endeavor, but ours, for the record and this dissection, is the TV show concept starring Kent Stevenson.

But so what? Why should anyone care that there even is such a thing, in fact, what is Rhythm Village?

First, let’s go back to the “brainchild” part. I should say, “no brainer.” Well, if you know Kent Stevenson like I know him, then it becomes a “no brainer.”

As far a Rhythm Village I will quote from another page on our website: Rhythm Village is a place, a real place of the imagination. A place of wonder. A place of life, laughter and love. A place for kids, younger and older. A place to be one’s true self, to be loved and appreciated just for being that special creation each one is. More And if you care about kids and the lack of arts education in many of our schools, of values based education, also lacking, then you should care about a Rhythm Village, especially since RV does it all in high style and mixed with great fun.

Now, I must admit, I was not perhaps the first to see Mr. Stevenson as a potential star for TV, but my conviction might have been stronger based on my background, especially as one who had enjoyed a fair amount of success as a music teacher, even having had some of my students perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. So, I was not bad, not at all, but Stevenson was, as a teacher, on another planet, based on the wonderful songs he had written, which were stellar. All teachers have to solve the “repertoire” problem, he chose to do so by writing his own. The songs were magical. They were call and response or they suggested physical movements or they painted bold and colorful pictures of the imagination, or taught life lessons, or history, or geography. There was not many subject areas left alone by the maestro’s mighty pen. The seemed to be mini musicals in themselves. And, well, the songs just plain “worked.” And they did so magnificently. Not only were his melodies and rhythms catchy, his lyrics were as good or better. (Mr. Stevenson, a wordsmith and journalist, was at one time ad copy writer for all of Nordstrom’s print ads). I have said often that the songs are really the “Star” of the show. Stevenson is the real deal. He also brings a style that is quite his own, and based on the best traditions of American music, including the music Caribbean and Latin American. (They are “American,” too!) Words alone won’t convince anyone, however, so, please, sample some of Kent’s music and you be the judge. Better yet, let your kids and grand-kids decide. I think they will feel as excited about Kent’s music as his students, of today and in the past, and all will eventually see that Kent Stevenson, as purveyor of great children songs, is indeed, the Real Deal!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sofie Zadra
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 11:04:41

    This is Sofie Zadra… I was in Pan African Choir, went to China with Shades of Praise and have also been in a couple choirs with Cora. How are you Kent and Joe??

    I now have a son that is 3 1/2 and REALLY want him doing music. It is clear that he is interested already. He likes drums, guitar and OF COURSE singing!

    Do you still have a kid’s choir? Do you have a Music School? is there anything going on presently?

    Love to hear from you both. Also on another note. I still love to sing. It is still my passion and I would love to sing some songs with you if you have some for me to sing!! and /or record! As you can imagine my life is pretty busy with a 3 1/2 year old but Music is my other passion so hope I hear from you soon

    Reply

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