The Kennedy Center

The Pop Ups



Biography

Featuring a range of songs pleasing to both kids and parents ears alike, The Pop Ups put on a show that’s sure to have families dancing to their catchy tunes and clever lyrics. The Pop Ups believe that everyone loves great songs and that people of any age respond to music written without compromise.

From indie rock central, Brooklyn, NY, musical and song-writing collaborators Jacob Stein and Jason Rabinowitz have responded to a personal challenge to create a very grown-up, mature sound suitable for families: an energetic live act built around educational, enormously danceable songs.

Calling themselves The Pop Ups, their debut effort succeeded magnificently with ten tracks that showcase a wide range of musical styles, catchy tunes, clever lyrics, and tight arrangements with harmonies. Outside Voices tells musical tales of whimsy and childhood adventure in a range of influences from 80’s synth-pop, to reggae dancehall, indie-pop, classic soul, garage psychedelia, and club-ready beats. Opening with a sweeping Moody Blues-like sound, “Outside/Inside” teaches when to use loud and soft voices. Other highlights include the electro-acoustic “Subway Train” (an alphabetic journey through New York’s synth-beat subway trains), “Balloon” (a reggae lament sung as a stray balloon flies away over Prospect Park), “Apes in Capes” (a geometrically zoological pop song that channels Fleetwood Mac harmonies about using shapes to draw apes), and the techno-pop “Big Wheel” (about the freedom experienced riding on a big wheel bike). Also included is “Pasta,” a driving rock song that details over forty shapes of pasta (the basis of The Pop Ups’ traveling puppet show), and two songs that feature guest vocalists Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer: the funky, Sesame Street-inspired “Up and Down” and the Jerry Lee Lewis/rockabilly inspired “Airband.”

Jason Rabinowitz is a composer, producer, actor, and multi-instrumentalist from New York City. He had his Broadway debut in Little Maestros Live at The Nokia Theatre. He is the co-author and producer of three major label records by Little Maestros, as well as numerous recording projects.Through his many years as a singer and performer in NYC’s indie rock community he has gotten to record duets and sing with the likes of Regina Spektor, Britta Phillips, members of The National, Beirut, Luna, Rilo Kiley, and Northern State, among others. He has also shared the stage with the likes of Suzanne Vega, Mike Doughty, Kimya Dawson (of Moldy Peaches/Juno soundtrack fame), Ra Ra Riot, Scritti Pollitti, I’m From Barcelona, Jeffrey Lewis, and many others. He is the founder and principal songwriter of The Bloodsugars, a synth-pop outfit from NYC, and has been an artist in residence teaching music to grades Pre K-9th in classrooms in NYC for the last 10 years.

Jacob Stein has been entertaining children with his unique blend of singing, puppetry, guitar and percussion since 2001. His is a highly energetic and inspiring approach with plenty of participation from even the youngest of audience members. In 2007, Jacob premiered his Hanukah puppet musical The Hammer & The Candle at Stephen Wise Synagogue and in 2008 his Passover musical The Mystery of the Disappearing Afikoman, commissioned by the Jewish Community Project received its premier at the Museum of the Holocaust at Battery Park. Jacob’s first record, Bim Bom Shabbat, was released in 2007, and included appearances from Frank London, Sophie Solomon, and Mike Stein. An arts graduate of both Yale and Columbia, Jacob comes from a very musical family, based on the West Coast. They perform together as the Rolling Steins.

The Pop Ups represent the peak of the new wave in children’s music. Dedicated to educating, engaging, and enlightening through imaginative musical fun, and guaranteed not to embarrass you if the songs come up on shuffle in public; you and your family are sure to enjoy The Pop Ups musical odyssey.
The Pop Ups