The Kennedy Center



DAN ZANES - Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes occupies a unique place in American music - where sea shanties, English Music hall, play party songs, the spirit of early rock-n-roll, soul, North American and West Indian folk music collide. For the past 15 years, he has toured the world with his band, Dan Zanes and Friends, sharing handmade 21st century social music with enthusiastic crowds of kids and kid sympathizers.

From thrift shop basements to Carnegie Hall, from Brooklyn to Bahrain, Zanes has been introducing new songs and reconnecting people to the forgotten music of the past. Referred to as “the family-music genre’s most outspoken and eloquent advocate” by Time Magazine, his critically-acclaimed music has been featured on Sesame Street, Playhouse Disney, Nickelodeon, HBO Family and Sprout. Over the course of 14 albums, 2 DVDs, 2 picture books, and dozens of videos, he has collaborated with Philip Glass, Lou Reed, Angelique Kidjo, Natalie Merchant, Carol Channing, Sharon Jones, Bob Weir, Debbie Harry, Rosanne Cash, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and many more. NPR called him “The Gold Standard in kid’s music.”

In the fall of 2017, Dan and Haitian-American jazz vocalist and Music Therapist Claudia Eliaza, premiered Night Train 57: A Sensory Friendly Folk Opera at The Kennedy Center. They’re currently touring this show with Mexican percussion player-turned-comic actor Yuriana Sobrino. Dan and Claudia believe that Sensory Friendly is the future of family entertainment and have committed to presenting all of their various performances in this inclusive manner. The soundtrack to the show is now available digitally and on CD.

Dan Zanes House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury, a fully illustrated songbook by Dan and Claudia based on music from the Dan Zanes and Friends catalog was published in December 2018 by The Quarto Group / Young Voyager. Also, in 2018, Dan’s dream came true when he and Claudia were married in their home state of New Hampshire.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/15/2019: Dan + Claudia Zanes with Friends

Grammy Award® winner Dan Zanes, along with his wife Claudia Zanes, Pauline Jean—both Haitian American jazz vocalists—and Mexican percussionist Yuriana Sobrino perform his greatest hits as well as folk and blues classics from Dan Zanes’ House Party!: A Family Roots Music Treasury, the popular new songbook created by Dan and Claudia. The concert will also include selections from their Kennedy Center commissioned folk opera, Night Train 57, which premiered in 2017.

Free timed-entry passes are required for this performance. To obtain a pass, visit

Presented as a part of Kennedy Center Education Week and the REACH Opening Festival.

Sept 15 - Dan Zanes