It's hard for me to walk through the minefield that is children's music when I have two Achilles Heels: world music and non-traditional instrumentation.
Happily, Mariana Iranzi is not interested in my limitations. A native Argentinian, she has played and taught music professionally for more than a decade. Mariana uses her skills to charm young audiences, as we saw firsthand many years ago at Jalopy during an early Kindiefest performance (2009):
She has now released a second CD, HOLA HELLO, featuring bilingual song selections in Spanish and English. I usually quote lyrics in my reviews, but without faithful translations, I will wave that affectation. If you can't figure out what "En Tren" is about, with the locomotive blast and full-throttle harmonica, then you haven't heard enough train songs in your lifetime. The lone all-English track is a reworking of "Five Little Monkeys."
Matt (2 years old) is clearly calling his shots with my reviewing process, which involves playing every CD at least once (usually mealtime) for the family. Without understanding the words (that goes for all of us, actually). he began singing "Veo Veo" along with the track. I quietly translated the title as "I See, I See" and it was great to see how Matt was enchanted by the melody and Mariana's voice.
There is definitely a space in children's music for foreign influences (either native America or imported). With a best achievement scholarship from the Berklee College of Music, Mariana Iranzi is heading out to provide an education in spanish-themed music for children. And to that, I wish her "Mejor de suerte."
HOLA HELLO is available from Mariana's website, Amazon. CDBABY, and iTunes.