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Hanukkah Music for Kids

Here’s a list of great Hanukkah music for kids, from klezmer to pop, from traditional to humorous remakes. There’s one album for each night, plus a bonus CD to wrap up the season.

Rachel Buchman – ‘Shine Little Candles: Chanukah Songs for Children’

Courtesy Rounder Records
Buchman’s collection of songs, stories, and short skits are accompanied by accordion, acoustic guitar, and occasional fiddle, bells, or hand drums. The entertaining, educational, and celebratory tunes, some sung a cappella, feature lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, and Ladino. Released by Rounder Records in 2000.

The Jewish Wedding Band – ‘A Child’s Hanukkah’

Courtesy Music For Little People
Heavy on original compositions performed klezmer-style, this CD plays out like a joyous family gathering full of songs, skits, fun times, and a cast of characters. Includes Yiddish, Hebrew, and English lyrics. Released by Music For Little People in 1998.

David Grover & The Big Bear Band – ‘Chanukah at Grover’s Corner’

Courtesy Koch Records
On this soundtrack from the PBS television special of the same name, David Grover and his band present original and traditional tunes. A children’s chorus chimes in on a few songs, and some of the tunes feature Hebrew lyrics. Released by Koch Records in 2003.

The Klezmatics – ‘Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah’

Courtesy Jewish Music Group
Recently-found poetry by Guthrie that celebrates Jewish culture is set to joyous music by the Klezmatics’ Lorin Sklamberg and Frank London, rounded out by four instrumentals. Released by Jewish Music Group in 2006.

Judy Caplan Ginsburgh – ‘Chanukah Favorites’

Courtesy Judy Caplan Ginsburgh
Ginsburgh’s collection of holiday tunes have a slightly southern-tinged flavor, as banjos and mandolins show up on several tunes. These traditional and original songs feature English and Hebrew lyrics. Self-released by Ginsburgh in 1992.

Various Artists – ‘Chanukah at Home’

Courtesy Rounder Records
Of all the CDs on the list, this is the most like an old-fashioned hootenanny, with lots of group singing, guitars, banjos, mandolins, sentimental songs and spirited sing-alongs. Released by Rounder Records in 1992.

Julie Silver – ‘It’s Chanukah Time’

Courtesy HyLo Entertainment/Barnes & Noble
Silver and band deliver rootsy, bluesy takes on originals and oldies, sounding much like an album Bonnie Raitt might record. Sung in Hebrew and English. Produced by Kidzapalooza co-founder Tor Hyams, and released by HyLo Entertainment/Barnes & Noble in 2006.

Mama Doni – ‘I Love Chanukah!’

Courtesy Mama Doni Productions
Doni Zasloff Thomas’ four-song EP of silly holiday originals will keep your young listeners laughing. Self-released by Thomas in 2008.

Rabbi Joe Black with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band – ‘Eight Nights of Joy’

Courtesy Klezmer Music Foundation
One of the premier Klezmer bands around teams up with another Jewish Music star to create a joyous musical celebration of Hanukkah. Recorded live in Chicago in December, 2006, this CD presents an array of original holiday songs and Hanukkah sing-alongs. If you’re lucky, you can catch Black and Maxwell Street performing this album live around the holiday season. Released by Klezmer Music Foundation in 2008.

December 15, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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