About Timbalooloo

Our son was talking about Herbie Hancock, Mozart, Samba and African Music – and he knew the difference!-Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner Keitel

Timbalooloo strives to fundamentally reimagine the way music is taught and how music can be conceived by children during their early formative years.  The center of our work is the Timbalooloo Method, which was developed by internationally renowned musician Oran Etkin.  In the Timbalooloo Method, instruments come to life and speak through their music so that children learn to express themselves not by having to execute the correct notes, but rather by making their instruments come alive and actually speak the language of music, adding character, humor and emotion to the music.  This notion of instruments speaking to each other harkens back to Etkin’s experiences as a young boy falling in love with the music of Louis Armstrong – a musician who certainly was a master at making his trumpet come alive and express things that words cannot express.

Through fun games, stories, songs and movements, the children engage with rich musical and cultural heritage – from Tito Puente to Mozart, Willie Nelson to Herbie Hancock.  In fact, Herbie Hancock recently saw our lesson about him and invited us to present in Paris for UNESCO and International Jazz Day. The following year UNESCO commissioned us to create online video classes for schools in 195 partner countries!
Watch Herbie Hancock’s Greeting To Timbalooloo Students:

The benefits beyond music are also far reaching – math, history, cultural appreciation, speech, fine and gross motor and many other skills are developed, not to mention the most important skill in life…to really listen to what is happening in the moment, and then find a way to add your own beauty.

We work to advance this vision through several activities:

  • Timbalooloo Music Classes
    • Etkin hand selected a core group of teaching artists who he trained in the Timbalooloo Method and who teach classes at schools and homes in NYC & LA
    • We are working on a way of licensing the method to music teachers around the world to use in their classes
  • Live Full-Band Performances On Tour Worldwide
    • Etkin has toured with his Timbalooloo band (featuring Clara Net and Big Mama Tuba) throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and North America at venues including Istanbul Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Fest Kids, Wolftrap, Newport Jazz Fest Kids, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Central Park SummerStage, Changsha Jazz Festival in China, Keo Plaza in Tokyo and more
    • Etkin also has a monthly Timbalooloo duo series at National Sawdust in Brooklyn and does numerous special Timbalooloo productions including a show highlighting Roma (Gypsie) music that toured Czech Republic
  • Timbalooloo Albums (Listen on iTunes or Amazon)
    • Etkin’s first Timbalooloo release, “Wake Up, Clarinet!” in 2010 won Best Children’s album at the Independent Music Awards and also National Association of Parenting Publications Award and Parents Choice Gold Award
    • Etkin’s original Timbalooloo music appears on several compilations including the GRAMMY Award Winning “All About Bullies Big and Small”, the GRAMMY Nominated “Healthy Food For Thought” and Putumayo Music’s “Jazz Playground”
    • Etkin plans to release a new Timbalooloo album in 2018!
  • Timbalooloo TV and Video Content
    • Timbalooloo TV was started when Timbalooloo was commissioned by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute to create a series of educational videos that were screened at UNESCO’s partners in 195 participating countries on International Jazz Day.
    • Subscribe to our YouTube  page to be notified as we release more video content for children, parents and educators

About Timbalooloo Founder Oran Etkin:

Etkin’s unique background has made him a prime candidate to shake up the world of music
education and entertainment. Widely regarded as one of the top clarinetists and composers of his generation, Etkin was recently voted #1 rising star clarinetist in DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll, regularly performs at major jazz festivals internationally and has recorded on numerous albums including a GRAMMY Award Winning compilation.

His passion for music started early and by the age of nine he was playing piano, guitar, violin and saxophone. After falling in love with the music of Louis Armstrong, Etkin’s parents took him to visit New Orleans where the legendary Anthony “Tuba Fats” Lacen briefly took the young Etkin under his wing. Etkin’s passion for teaching springs from his gratitude to the teachers and mentors who shared the gift of music with him, including  jazz masters such as Dave Liebman and Yusef Lateef, classical icons like Charles Neidich, Klezmer innovators such as Dave Krakauer and griot musicians from West Africa. As a touring musician, Etkin continues to work with traditional masters from many cultures, each of whom give him a fresh perspective on how to nurture a deep love and intuitive understanding of music in children.  As Etkin tours the world, he gathers melodies, rhythms, stories and songs that he then shares with the Timbalooloo students and audiences, helping to connect children from diverse cultures through music.