The Kerplunks are ready to close off the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s First Stages 2017/18 series April 15. (Sean Fenzl photography)

Spreading information a top priority for Kerplunks

The Kerplunks close Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s First Stages series April 15

For The Kerplunks, it’s as much about entertainment as it is education.

Presented by the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society, The Kerplunks close off the Society’s 2017/18 First Stages Series April 15.

“We are conscientious but really into fun activities,” said Dinah D, who tows the line with her stand up bass rhythms. “We also take on some of the bigger issues like ocean ecology.”

Comprised of Dinah; Jocelyn (Jojo) Hallett on keys, horns and vocals; Aaron Cadwaladr on the strings and vocals and Phil Wipper on drums, the three-time Juno-nominated Gabriola Island children’s music group’s performance will also delve into matters closer to home.

“We (also) want to tune into a little of the local ecology,” Dinah said.

Further ingraining their name in the world of educational entertainment, The Kerplunks are in the midst of working on a new mini series dubbed Learn, Make, Play. In the mini series, as the name suggests, viewers will learn about a certain subject, make it and then play with it.

“It’s kind of a celebration of the world around us,” Dinah said. “It’s going to be really fun. Part of what we love to do is spread information. That really is our No. 1 mandate.”

Armed with a swathe of instruments, including everything from Dinah’s upright bass to pocket synths, The Kerplunks hope their instruments themselves will act as an educational tool.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to learn about these strange instruments,” Dinah said. “The more you expose your kid to alternative opportunities, the more you open their minds.”

And for Dinah, that’s half of the fun.

“We’re very encouraging of people doing things hands on, especially with young people,” she said. “It’s so very rewarding working with children and watching them grow.”

While education plays an important role for The Kerplunks, at the core of it, the four-piece band is all about putting on a fun show for the kids.

Backed by special guest performer and clown Clever Trever, Dinah said the Vernon audience is in for a silly ride.

“We’re going to be having something fun for the little, little ones,” Dinah said, noting the intended young audience for the Society’s no-shushing season.

“We have some special surprises up our sleeves, and we’re not shy to ask people to get up and dance.”

With four studio albums currently on offer and a fifth in the works, The Kerplunks will focus on the repertoire from their first album, which Dinah said is full of wonderful pre-school aged offerings.

But, with a 13-year history behind them, The Kerplunks are known to extend beyond the reaches of children’s music. That is the case with their up-coming fifth album, Lullabies For Big Eyes — an hour-and-a-half album of sleeping music.

“It’s a really exciting release,” Dinah said, adding that it isn’t just for the young ones. “There are no teddy bears on this album.”

The crew of musicians, playing under a moniker other than that of The Kerplunks, has taken their smooth jams through the North Okanagan before, rocking local gems like Lorenzo’s Cafe in Ashton Creek and Salmon Arm Roots and Blues. However, they’re excited to be back under their usual banner.

“We’ve been looking forward to playing the Okanagan for a while. We can finally say hi to all of our friends in the Okanagan,” Dinah said.

Because for The Kerplunks, turning the audience, whether it’s the parents or the kids, into friends is what it’s all about.

“We really have fun being on stage. We enjoy very much what we do. We love everything about it,” Dinah said.

“It’s a way for us to really connect with people. That’s kind of what keeps us ticking.”

The Kerplunks close off the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s 2017/18 First Stages series April 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are available through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.


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