Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 52
Music for the whole familyLocal children's music group Birdie will perform an acoustic set at the Toy Zoo, featuring songs off their new album
BY JOE PAYNE
Singer songwriter Teresa Gasca-Burk calls the first time she ever attended a live concert a pivotal moment of her youth.
“One of the first concerts that I saw was a classical guitar player, and I think it was a life-changing event for me,” she said. “It was really moving, a wonderful thing to see at a young age.”
The event certainly changed Gasca-Burk’s life for the better, as she has enjoyed a life full of music. Her husband, Gary Burk, enjoys playing guitar, and the duo writes songs together; she writes the lyrics and sings, and he writes the tune and plays the guitar. They’re the creators of the local children’s music project Birdie, which performs original kids’ songs.
“We like to think of ourselves as family music.” Gasca-Burk said. “Our little tag on the album is ‘music for the kid in everyone.’”
The two have performed together for years, performing their own music in the adult contemporary style. Gasca-Burk was inspired to write kids’ music after teaching rhythm and movement classes to young children at a dance studio where she works—but mostly after she had her two sons.
“I loved writing music for my two boys,” she said, “and once our first CD was recorded, I was able to use it for teaching my class.”
Birdie just finished its third album of original kids’ music. The group included several different musicians so as to complete the sound: Eileen O’Shea provides background vocals, Scott Adams drums, and Johnny Punches plays bass. Their album was produced and recorded by local and touring artist Terry Lawless, who also plays with the band when he’s in town.
“We have incredible musicianship on our album,” Gasca-Burk said. “The musicianship is really important to us; it doesn’t matter just because it’s kids music; we want to make it the best we can.”
A big motivation for the Birdie sound, according to Gasca-Burk, is wanting it to be enjoyable for parents and kids alike.
“We just want people, when they are playing the same song over and over and over again in the car for the child, we want the parents and the grandparents to enjoy it as well,” she explained.
The new album, titled Kitchen Pan Band, is dedicated to Gasca-Burk’s mother-in-law, who served as the inspiration for the title track.
“She has this cupboard in her kitchen that the kids could always go into, and it was pots and pans and wooden spoons, and it was OK for them to play with the stuff and make as much noise as they wanted,” she said, “and my husband and his father would play guitar and the kids would bang with the pans, and we would all sing.”
Her families’ impromptu musical ensemble is part of Birdie’s philosophy of exposing kids to music and getting them involved in it from an early age.
“When we perform, I try to bring a little basket full of instruments for kids to join in on the music making, and scarves for kids who want to dance,” she said.
Birdie is performing a concert at the Toy Zoo in Santa Maria, which will feature the group in an acoustic format. There will also be a craft time for attendees to make their own percussion instrument and join in the music making.
“I really think that is the beauty of percussion instruments,” Gasca-Burk said. “When I was teaching, I just loved percussion and made sure every kid had an instrument in their hands, and I would always say, ‘You can play music right now!’”
While Birdie’s lyrics are very kid friendly, the music itself doesn’t condescend to the youngsters.
“That’s what I love about music,” Gasca-Burk said. “It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.”
Filling the chamber
A “Chamber Music Concert” features three local ensembles—the JB Quartet, the Santa Maria Winds Quintet, and the Maestro Brass Quintet—in concert on March 10 at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 311 S. Broadway, Santa Maria. Cost is $10, $5 for seniors and students.
Wine down at Lucias
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
The Chumash Casino and Resort presents ABBA, the Concert, a musical tribute show, on March 7. The Guess Who will perform live on March 14 at 8 p.m. at the Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. More info: 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including the country music of the JD Bernal Band with Just Dave on March 8 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Just Dave and friends is March 9 at 3 p.m. The JD Bernal Band with Dave Bernal perform again on March 9 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.