Timbalooloo With Oran Etkin
Oran Etkin is an internationally acclaimed jazz musician, world artist, and composer, renowned for giving music classes for children in New York City. His music has been recognized with a Grammy Award and two Independent Music Awards for Best World Beat Album and Best Children’s Album. He is also creator of the "Timbalooloo" method of teaching music to young children that has gained popularity in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris.
Oran Etkin has performed around the world with musicians ranging from guitarist Mike Stern to rapper Wyclef Jean. Through years of experience in many diverse musical cultures, Etkin has developed a unique sound on the clarinet, bass-clarinet, and saxophone that draws on ancient world traditions, yet resonates with the energy of today's New York City jazz scene.
"Timbalooloo," Oran Etkin’s method of teaching music to children, incorporates the basic grammar and vocabulary of music through games, stories, songs, and dance.
"The kids are usually right there with us from the first moment when they see and hear the instruments talking," says Oran Etkin. "And that's what music should do. It should speak to you."
"Oran is a pied piper. The kids are mesmerized in his presence. Parents, too."
—Mona Kayhan, coproducer of the "Putumayo Kids" album series
Oran Etkin's teaching philosophy is based on his understanding of music as a universal language.
“Just as young children are able to learn languages naturally," he explains, "without thinking too much about the rules of grammar, but directly achieve fluency in the language, they can do the same with the language of music.”
“Kids learn to listen to the silence and put something beautiful in there, and then figure out how to add their own voice to create more beauty. When you think about skills for life, that’s one of the most important ones. Even if you’re the CEO of a big company, what you're really doing is listening to what’s going on, and then trying to do whatever's necessary to create more beauty.”
Originally from Israel but raised in the United States, Oran Etkin is now a Brooklyn-based clarinetist and saxophonist. He brings this uniquely diverse perspective to his music for children and adults, incorporating rhythms and melodies from all over the world.
“When I pick up my horn to play or sit down to write music," Oran Etkin explains, "elements of Mali, Israel, New Orleans, and New York are naturally going to come out in my music. The music is a natural reflection of my own experiences and who I am now.”