On Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m., the Confetti Park Players have a CD release performance at Louisiana Music Factor. (Also on the bill, Todd Mouton book signing and Zachary Richard performance/book signing.) The CD is available locally at Louisiana Music Factory, Magic Box Toys, and Fleurty Girl for $15. It is also available online (http://confettipark.com) and is digitally available on iTunes and Amazon for $9.99.
So how did the Confetti Park Players get their start?
Katy Hobgood Ray is a mom living in Algiers Point who is very active in music and kids activities in her neighborhood. She is Vice President of Confetti Kids, Inc., a nonprofit that maintains parks and plans neighborhood activities for children. A former Kindermusik teacher, about two years ago she started hosting free toddler music sessions in Confetti Park (corner of Pelican and Opelousas). From those early sessions, the idea for a more formal community choir began.
“I started writing new songs to sing with the kids, things about our neighborhood and our city,” says Katy, who has a four-year old son named Louis. “There is so much that is magical and inspiring in New Orleans—it’s such as special place, you never run out of ideas to write about!”
Katy, who has a masters degree in musicology from Tulane University, knows a lot of local musicians and started calling on friends for collaborations with the kids. In addition, she is the host of a kids music radio show and podcast, also called “Confetti Park,” that features Louisiana kids music and storytelling. So she has her finger on the pulse of contemporary kids music. Among the nearly 3 dozen musicians featured on the album are renown drummer Johnny Vidacovich, Afghan Whigs guitarist David Rosser, Pretty Lights keyboardist Brian Coogan, Dirty Dozen baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra piccoloist Patti Adams, Clarinet Road’s Evan Christopher, and Lincoln Center-affiliated jazz trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso.
“When I took the kids to the Marigny Recording Studio and the Word of Mouth recording studio, and they put on headphones and sang into the microphone…I would guess that has probably been their favorite experience so far,” says Katy. "They just love hearing their own voices come through!” The Confetti Park Players have also performed at the French Quarter Fest, the Folk Art Fest, and had a video shoot with the NOLA Pyrates in Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter.
The all-ages choir is free to the community. They meet every Wednesday at the Algiers United Methodist Church. In addition to singing, they practice writing songs, choreograph dances, and learn about musicians and instruments.
Check out Katy Hobgood Ray’s radio show and podcast, Confetti Park, featuring Louisiana kids music and stories. Download the podcast FREE on iTunes for fun segments, and tune in to local Louisiana radio stations to listen to full episodes on weekends! Current broadcast schedule:
WHIV 102.3 FM in New Orleans every Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (Listen via Live Stream)
The Confetti Park radio show and podcast is supported by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Music Rising at Tulane University and Offbeat Magazine.