Welcome to JasonDidner.net! This is the home of my music for grown-ups. You may know me as the singer and co-founder of Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam, a rock band for kids and families.
Lately my music making for the grown-up set has been rekindled. See, as I learned from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, it’s good to say Yes as often as possible. I was asked to perform three sets at the Pilsener Haus in Hoboken. That’s a rather long engagement for strictly children’s music, so I came up with this formula – two sets of children’s music and one set for the grown-ups. The last set would be the chance to honor my musical influences – Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, The Temptations, and more. I also got to play songs from my own 2003 album American Road.
This experience led me to start doing Facebook Live video performances of single songs a few times a week, usually after helping my daughter to bed. Those performances seemed to resonate and have encouraged me to start scheduling Concert Window concerts in the evenings for grown-ups. I’ve been doing Concert Window shows on snow days for kids and their families; those shows provided entertainment on days when it was really needed. So, here goes. I hope these nighttime Concert Window performances delight you and help you feel connected – to the music, to memories in your life, to other people participating in the show.
Before I started making kids’ music I was writing and performing songs – in coffeehouses, sports bars, and bookstores. Early in my singer/songwriter days I found my voice with epic, progressive rockers like “Wall of Sound” and quirky tunes with humor from my life’s experiences like “Cubicle.” I really broke through in the winter of 2001 when my ode to Jersey driving, “You Can’t Get There from Here in Jersey” got airplay on NPR’s Car Talk program. The single also made it to the show’s “Best Of” CD.
When 9/11 changed America forever, I felt great pain for my near and dear New York City. My very next time into the city a week later (a business meeting at the U.N.) brought me face-to-face with all those “Missing” flyers, with the ink streaking in the misty rain. It felt like my city was crying and I needed to feel her tears mingle with my own. On that walk from Port Authority Bus Terminal to the U.N., I had already written the bulk of “Stand Tall, United” in my head. That song would help anchor my first commercially released full-length album American Road, which was built on themes of how 9/11 changed us as a people. The album was about hiding and re-emerging; resenting and forgiving, ultimately taking the high road back to brotherhood and sisterhood.
Subsequently I recorded more tracks and used online collaboration to give them band arrangements. I enjoy those songs and would like very much to re-record, mix and master them to the level of quality that I’ve started to achieve with my Jungle Gym Jam records.
Until then, I’m having fun mixing sets of grown-up music into my family-friendly gigs and playing live on you computer screen when the opportunity arises.