We all know that motherhood often changes your path. Sometimes in little profound ways… sometimes in huge-change-direction-at-the-fork-of-the-road ways. For Annapolis-area moms Bridgette Michaels and Dawn Madak, it helped them find the beat. It makes sense when you know their story — in the same way an obscure Bob Marley song makes the perfect name for their kindie rock band.
The two moms make up 2/3 of the kindie band Guava Jelly.
Bridgette, who has a PhD in oceanography, comes from a musical Caribbean family. A bit discouraged by the music available for the pint-sized crowd, she and her husband recorded a CD of original ‘by the sea‘ songs in her living room. Kid-friendly tunes that adults could groove to, too. (Necessity is the mother of invention, right?). She started performing them at local coffee shops.
Dawn knew Bridgette as one of the other preschool moms and heard she was singing around town. But instead approaching her at school and asking for a play date for their three-year-old daughters, Dawn went up to Bridgette and asked if she could play conga drums for her.
The kicker? Dawn didn’t quite know how to play the drums.
“I had an affinity for the back beat!” she joked over the phone. And Bridgette saw a spark. It wasn’t the first time she’d teach a novice musician. She taught her husband how to play guitar for their daughter, too. She gave Dawn her CD. One week later, Dawn was playing congo drums.
That was seven years ago. (And they’ve since been joined by Gary Peresta on bass).
What I love about the band: the Caribbean vibe Bridgette brings to the each song. The fact that the band is named after a Bob Marley song (really, too cool). That they’ve uploaded all of their music to iTunes and we can download by DC or by song. (Sweet!) How my kids sway to Bobbin’ Bobbin’ Jellyfish. That Pirate Ruby sails the Chesapeake and kicks some serious buttucci (as my kids say). The sweet melody of Dream that lulls my toddler to sleep. That there are a few parts of Love that remind me of Adam Sandler’s I Wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer. C’mon. You know you loved that movie, too.
The band is getting ready to launch their first official CD online (Editor’s note: you can download Bridgette’s other two CDs for children online, too!) and are playing a variety of gigs around town. You may have seem them at our Innovation Saturday event. They’re booked for tons of festivals this year, including fam-friendly The Nextival on May 21st!
Music isn’t their only passion. Bridgette is an administrative assistant at The Key School and Dawn is a founding member of the puppet show musical venture Zoo in My Room with Kindersinger Jim.
Two local moms on a kid music mission. Can’t wait to see where it takes them!