Mi Amigo Hamlet Rocks Out for Families at Mr. Dave Music
To celebrate the release of his debut album, Happy Land is Tierra Feliz, Guatemalan native and Chicago area family favorite Mi Amigo Hamlet will perform a dynamic family shows at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Mr. Dave Music, 1935 W. Division St., Chicago.
What sets Mi Amigo Hamlet (Hamlet Meneses) apart is his bilingual approach to every song. His fun-filled concerts are lively, engaging, interactive Spanish/English experiences from start to finish, replete with colored scarves, puppets, maracas, egg shakers, and hand drums or tambourines, so kids can participate on songs like “Hola,” “Azul,” “Los Instrumentos,” “Días de La Semana” and “Cara Cabeza.” These are favorites of the hundreds of Chicago area kids Hamlet has taught over the past eighteen years in his GoCreative Programs, an organization he founded to promote bilingual education for kids through art and music.
WHEN: 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept, 29, 2018
WHERE: Mr. Dave Music, 1935 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60022
ADMISSION: $12 per person (children and adults require tickets) / 11 months and under are free
Dubbed “the children’s Manu Chao” by many of the families with whom he interacts, Mi Amigo Hamlet describes his music as “Bilingual Latin Alternative” and points to influences that include musician/activist Manu Chao, Catalan singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, and beloved Mexican children’s musician Cri-Cri (the late Francisco Gabilondo Soler).
On Happy Land is Tierra Feliz, Mi Amigo Hamlet brings merengue, salsa, rumba flamenco, bossa nova and more into the mix, while combining Spanish and English in very effective alternations that help expand young listeners’ second language skills. Several of the songs cover items like colors, modes of transportation, and months of the year, topics one would expect to encounter on a bilingual album, but Mi Amigo Hamlet manages to present these songs in a very personal way, from an unexpected frame of reference that surprises and delights.
Hamlet Meneses was born and grew up in Guatemala and settled in Chicago in 1990. Endowed with an artistic spirit, he sang in choirs as a teen and young adult but did not begin formal guitar studies until 2005, when he entered Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. There, he learned flamenco fundamentals with the school’s flamenco and dance accompanist, Mehran Jalili, and bossa nova with Paulinho Garcia. These styles have greatly influenced his music. He subsequently became a Hola Wiggleworms teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and his musical contributions there continue to this day.
Happy Land is Tierra Feliz will be released on September 21 and will be available at CDBaby, Apple Music, Spotify, and Mr. Dave Music.