The jungle gym is rockin’ up at J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights.
“We’ve been looking forward to this performance all summer long,” Wendy Christian Dunn, a mother of two girls, smiled.
"She’s having an awesome time!” one father said about his daughter.
“What do you like about today?" I asked Chase. "All this!” the child smiled.
Bringing the smiles is longtime children’s musician, Mister G.
“Wait a second, hold it!" I interrupted. "My name is copyrighted okay," I said. "My name is copyrighted too, but I think we spell it differently," Mister G said. "I copyrighted before you," I replied. "That may be true," he smiled.
He’s one of the many artists taking part in the City Parks Foundation’s Summerstage Kids, a free three-month, ongoing festival across the five boroughs.
“The heart and mission of our organization is really the programming we’re doing right here today,” Monique Martin, Programming Director for City Parks Foundation, explained. "[We're] bringing performing arts to the community and [helping kids] be able to see multicultural and diversity in their communities.”
“It’s just the greatest experience I could have through music," Mister G said. "It’s a complete joy!”
A passion and calling this songwriter’s had his whole life.
“My father was a professor and my mother wrote and illustrated children’s books so I guess it’s part of the family,” he smiled.
Mister G once worked as a 4th grade teacher and says his students inspired his debut album, ‘Pizza for Breakfast.' He’s toured around the world performing in countries like Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala.
"It’s the same vibe and that’s been one of the most surprising things about this is the universal similar response to the music,” he said.
He’s released seven albums since 2010 and even took home a Latin Grammy Award last year.
“I wrote an album of original bilingual songs called 'Los Animales' all about animals," Mister G explained. "It was like a lifetime high for me, it was just surreal.”
But Mister G says none of this could’ve been possible without one special person by his side.
“Missus G is the brains but she’s also on stage with me," he explained about his wife, Katherine. "There’s a lot of interactivity built into the songs so she really leads that.”
Whether it’s a massive stage or an intimate performance, he’s glad to be part of something that brings families and communities together.
“Is this day a 10, is this the best day?" I asked Ian. "Yes!” the kid beamed.
Click here to find out where Mister G will be performing next or to download any of his songs!