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Clinton Fearon wants kids to feel involved in his music

Seattle-based reggae artist Clinton Fearon gives a kids’ concert on Saturday — flexatone volunteers wanted



Clinton Fearon relaxes in a ball pit at Southcenter Mall’s Safari Playspace.

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

Clinton Fearon is a Seattle artist with global reach. Born in Jamaica, Fearon got his start in the Kingston music scene of the late 1960s, where reggae originated. The reggae star was a member of the Gladiators before moving to Seattle and launching his own career as a band leader. He has performed on every continent except for Antarctica, and his albums and songs regularly make bestseller lists within the genre.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Fearon will perform a show for kids, as part of Seattle Town Hall’s Saturday Family Concert Series. Fearon loves entertaining young audiences.

“Kids are honest,” he says. “If they are having a great time, you know it.”

Connecting with kids means focusing on songs with clear melodies and relatable themes. A chunk of his repertoire will come from his acoustic album Mi an’ Mi Guitar.

 

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

“You need not a lot of instruments; sweet melodies, for sure,” Fearon says. “Something they can all sing along with, where they can feel involved.”

Fearon usually performs as part of the Boogie Brown Band, an eight-piece ensemble. The children’s concert will be just him and his bandmate, Mark Oi, both playing guitars.

Fearon plans to bring a suitcase packed full with percussion instruments. These aren’t toys, but the real instruments you can hear on his albums: cowbell, cabasa, vibraslap, vibratone, and the flexatone, a hand-held instrument which has two balls that bang against a bendy piece of metal. How you bend the metal makes for some zany noises, of the sort heard in classic cartoons. Kids who volunteer can drum, ring, rattle and boi-oi-oing along with the songs.

As with his adult shows, many of the songs will reinforce messages of love, community and treating each other kindly and fairly.

“Basically it’s love, and how to understand one another and get along as people,” Fearon says.

Clinton Fearon and Mark Oi play at 11 am Nov. 10 at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Tickets available online through Town Hall Seattle.

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