Rabbit Days & Dumplings: A Dan Zanes-Approved Family Music Album Needs Your Help

I have written -- a lot -- about crowd-funding kids music projects, particularly those offered through Kickstarter. But for many reasons, I've never actually pitched in.

Until now.

The fine folks at Festival Five Records, known to the rest of the world as Dan Zanes' record label, dropped me a line this weekend and said that Elena Moon Park, Zanes' violinist and trumpeter, had begun a new Kickstarter project. As soon as I read the one or two sentence description -- something along the lines of "family folk music album featuring music from China, Japan, and Korea" -- I was pretty much sold.

For personal reasons, I've always been on the lookout for a family music album that featured Asian music, particularly from Korea, and saddened that nothing's been available. Putumayo's Asian Dreamland is OK, and Elizabeth Mitchell has featured a few songs scattered amongst her past couple albums; I think Zanes also has a track or two on his albums.

But an album that introduced Asian music to families, both native-speakers and non-, has been a large hole in the family music spectrum. And Park's plan -- to incorporate a large group of musicians to sing songs in native languages and English, using Eastern and Western instruments -- to do just that is overdue. (Heck, with the complicated political history those three countries have shared, even intra-Asian cross-cultural understanding can't hurt.)

That's why, for the first time, I've actually kicked in some money for a project. Because it won't just create some great music, it fills a need, both for me personally and the world generally.

So give the video a spin. Zanes pops up in the video to offer his full support. I can't imagine that he's not going to be part of the album itself. Should be a great album, even if "family Asian folk music album" isn't on your Top 5 list of albums that need to happen (as it -- and hopefully was -- mine).