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Dog on Fleas
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 03/21/2009 at Symphony Space.

This band is making some of the most inventive and exciting all-ages music around-sophisticated but bouncing-off-the-walls fun at the same time. Their recipe: In a big saucepan mix equal parts Cab Calloway and Woody Guthrie. Stir in a pinch of Spike Jones, NRBQ, and Sun Ra. Top with a sauce of calypso, Cajun, highlife, soul, and reggae. A whopping good time for kids and their keepers alike.

+ About the Artists

Dog on Fleas will be ten years old this year. Since the beginning, this exciting band for kids, families, old folks, pets, and more has been undergoing constant growth and evolution. Through the joy of musical exploration and worldly wordplay, Dog on Fleas has spread their inspired music to the far corners of the world, and hopefully to your neighborhood, too.

If you have been to a Dog on Fleas show, you probably came up after the show and said, "hi," because those Fleas look so friendly and nice. You probably danced with abandon, sang along, laughed and maybe cried (usually not the band's fault), and you probably marveled at this trio's musicality. You heard the Fleas play their hits in fresh and exciting ways and perhaps perform an unrehearsed cover song. Surprises are the norm for the Fleas. The band is like a tornado in performance, sucking up fans and whirling them around in a frenzy of fun.

Dog on Fleas have released five critically acclaimed CDs. Their latest, Beautiful World, is chock full of hits, with guest appearances by Lorette Velvette, Frances England, Uncle Rock, and the usual cast of characters. 2006's When I Get Little ranked number two on the top 20 list of the blog Kids' Music That Rocks, and was named one of the top five CDs of the year by Kathy O'Connell of Philadelphia's WXPN. Cranberry Sauce Flotilla was rated number one by the School Library Journal in the August 2007 article "12 Kids' Albums You Can't Live Without."

What's the Dog on Fleas recipe? In a very large saucepan, mix equal parts Cab Calloway and Ray Charles. Stir in a pinch of Spike Jones, NRBQ, and Sun Ra. Top with a sauce of calypso, cajun, highlife, soul, and reggae. Stir with Ringo's drumstick, and simmer. Brigitte Bardot will serve you from John Cage's hat.

Here's the name-dropping part: members of the band have played and/or recorded with the P-Funk All-Stars, Taj Mahal, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross, Elizabeth Mitchell, Varnaline, the Felice Brothers, Ari Up, Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Johnson, Sonando, and the Harmonica Virgins. Ella Fitzgerald kissed Dean on the cheek.

Dog on Fleas leader Dean Jones sings and plays the guitar, keyboards, trombone, and the kitchen sink. He is a musician traveling in many circles. Presently, he works as a one man band with Arm of the Sea Theatre, a cutting edge large-scale mask and puppet company. He plays with numerous bands, including the Latin band Sonando (trombone), the indie-folk/grit band Uncle Buckle (drums), the far-out jazz band Earmight (trombone and keys), and the New Orleans-meets-Timbuktu brass band Big Sky Ensemble (trombone and percussion). Dean also produces records for other musicians and writes commissioned works for theatre and TV. He has lead bands like the Car Tune Orchestra (music for car horns and percussion), the For Sale by Owner Orchestra (performance art band playing toys), and the Harmonica Virgins. He has also played with George Clinton, Ari Up, the Felice Brothers, Varnaline, Hopewell, and Emily Curtis.

John Hughes is the main singer in Dog on Fleas. He also plays bass and guitar, and has truckloads of charisma. He has played with Dean in many bands, including the Fighting McKenzies, the For Sale by Owner Orchestra, and Uncle Buckle. But John's specialty is really the late-night backyard jamboree.

Chris Cullo is the drummer extraordinaire for Dog on Fleas. He has traveled the world with many notable musicians, including Taj Mahal, Johnnie Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, Murali Coryell, and Chuck Jackson. Chris has a million hidden talents and he will talk to you about them after the show.

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