Grammy award winning children’s performer Dan Zanes and Haitian-American music therapist / jazz vocalist Claudia Eliaza have been making music with each other since the day they met in the fall of 2016.
The two decided while sitting at Dan’s kitchen table that afternoon that they would continue singing together and, in the spirit of inclusion and good times, would work with presenters to try and make all of their concerts sensory friendly.
Inspired by their artful modern-day all-ages folk music and their commitment to accessibility, the Kennedy Center commissioned Claudia and Dan to create a theater piece for young audiences. Night Train 57: A Sensory Friendly Comic Folk Opera premiered in October 2017 and has been performed several times since. The soundtrack recording is available on Festival Five Records.
Their love of songs and communal music-making lead to a publishing deal with the Quarto Group USA and the result, a songbook entitled Dan Zanes’ House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury, was released in late 2018. This has opened the doors to many new conversations with parents, educators, music therapists, and fellow musicians about how to work together to create a healthier, more musical (and ultimately, more festive), society.
While taking on these projects, Claudia and Dan have continued to bring their music to family shows, school workshops, community singalongs, and folk festivals throughout the U.S. and into Canada. They take their commitment to accessibility and inclusion with them wherever they go.
And – the icing on the cake – in the midst of it all they were married!