Mister G is a children’s music artist (active from 2009 - present). Free tracks, downloads, and tour dates can be found at www.mistergsongs.com.
Mister G’s story begins when he was just about the same age as his devoted fans. Growing up the son of noted children’s book author and illustrator Karen Gundersheimer, Mister G (then known as Ben Gundersheimer) learned to value great writing for kids at a young age. After begging his parents to let him switch from recorder to guitar lessons, he started writing his first songs at nine years old. By the time he graduated from Amherst College, Ben had already been performing his original songs professionally for years.
Over the past year, Mister G has performed in England, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and around the USA. Combining a worldly musician’s sensibility with his background as a teacher with a Master’s in Elementary Education, Mister G has led innovative concerts and songwriting workshops in settings as varied as the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Dana Farber Cancer Clinic, the Regent Theatre, the 92nd St Y, and the Atitlan Multicultural Academy. Like Dan Zanes, with whom he recently played a sold out show, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) is a former indie rocker who has found a niche writing and performing for kids.
Ben’s prolific composition won him the first song-writing scholarship ever awarded by Berklee College of Music. As an adult-oriented singer/songwriter, he performed and toured internationally, headlining legendary venues such as the Bitter End, the Iron Horse Music Hall, Somerville Theater, the Mercury Lounge and Club Passim. He’s shared the stage with Phish and Martin Sexton, and his music has been featured on dozens of network television shows around the world.
In the late 90s, Ben created an educational side project, “The Roots Music Collective,” with his bandmates. So began a peculiar double life of playing at rock clubs until 2:00 AM and performing in elementary schools at 9:00 later that same morning. The experience hooked him: time and again he was blown away by the energy, curiosity and creativity of the young audiences.
Ultimately, Ben decided to combine his background as a musician and songwriter with his passion for teaching children. For his Master’s thesis, Ben created a unique curriculum to incorporate songwriting into the classroom as a learning tool. Inspired by his students (who originally dubbed him ‘Mister G’), he began writing the songs that would comprise his debut family album.
With the 2010 release of “Pizza for Breakfast,” Mister G burst on to the family music scene. In addition to raves from kids, parents and school principals, he quickly caught the attention of some of the leading figures in children’s music. “Live, he’s got that rare quality where kids are simply and fully connected,” says Bill Childs, Founder of Kindiefest and host of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. As for the CD, Childs says it’s, “insanely catchy, totally engaging for kids and a lot of fun for parents.” And Emmy Award-winning PBS children’s television producer, Tim Banker, praises Mister G’s, “exceptional ability to write children’s songs that teach about complex issues, but are also hysterically funny and not preachy.”
Released in May 2011, Mister G’s second CD, “BUGS,” was featured in People Magazine which called the album “irresistible” and selected it as one of the “hottest and coolest” albums for children of the year. The album was also chosen as one of the top ten best children’s albums of 2011 by Parents Magazine, and received awards from the Parents Choice Foundation and the National Parenting Publications Awards.
Both “Pizza for Breakfast” and “BUGS” showcase Ben’s skills as a producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist. The albums were recorded in New York City and at Ben’s studio in the woods of Western Massachusetts, with a stellar cast of musicians. Accompanied by the voices of his former students, the CD features Mister G singing all original songs and playing acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Drawing on his eclectic tastes as a songwriter, the tracks on the albums span an unusually wide range of styles, from rock and country to bluegrass and ska.
Mister G’s album, “Chocolalala”, released in 2012, is a collection of original, bilingual songs. Inspired by his concert tours throughout Latin America, the album spans a wide range of musical styles from bossa nova to ska, funk to folk, rap to pop. Catchy and educational, the songs teach about counting, colors and nature, and celebrate the joys of eating chocolate, dancing and riding on the school bus with friends. Mister G’s new bilingual, literacy-themed album, ABC Fiesta was released in September of 2013.
In addition to his high-energy concerts, Ben has developed a series of school workshops (“Who Writes Songs? You Do!”; “Mister Goes Green”;“Vamos a la Playa”) designed to unleash the imaginative potential of children. Whether performing for hundreds of kids at a concert, or crafting an original song with a group of first graders, Mister G’s boundless enthusiasm and sophisticated musicianship are taking family music to a new level.
Edited by mgsongs2 on 2 Jan 2014, 20:37
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