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Jazz for the Young and Young at Heart

The town of Norwood has a bright, and national shining star in its midst. Sarah Gardner. Earlier this month Gardner was awarded with “2014 CD of the Year” by Creative Child Magazine for her CD “Jazz Pour Les Bebes,” but her musical accomplishments and experience date back to her childhood.
Growing up, Gardner was no stranger to music. Her father, a jazz musician himself, would often take her and her sister Abbie to his ‘gigs,’ where he would perform Dixieland jazz. At the age of 15, she started playing in rock and jazz bands. From there, she went on to attend Berklee College of Music and Emerson College Becoming a mom made her realize her love of children’s music, and she has grown and blossomed from there. She currently teaches and performs music for kids, performing everywhere from summer festivals to schools.
Why Jazz many may wonder?
“I was the happiest I’ve ever been when I became a mom,” Gardner explained. :So I was doing the moms-with-tots thing with the kids and going out onto the playground, and then I started teaching at Norwood Recreation part time doing kids music classes and going to different libraries.and I did lots of kids music. What happened is that there were a lot of grandparents coming.and just naturally when you play music all your life, you want to please the crowd. You want to play to the people that show up. So when you get a lot of grandparents, instead of doing pop songs, you think ‘What do they know?’ They know “You are my Sunshine” and then a kid would ask for a moon song, so I did “Paper Moon.”.And it was like the room lit up!”
That was where the idea was born and Gardner could not be more happy about the CD’s success.
“You know, you apply for these things, and you don’t expect anything because there’s so many people doing different things,” Gardner said. “You don’t know what’s coming because everyone’s creating their own projects..It was really nice.”
What makes this CD different from others that Gardner has done? This project is a family collaboration, and Gardner couldn’t be more thrilled.
“We haven’t had a family album, an album where we have all these people on it together before,” Gardner said. “We’ve played on each other’s CD’s here and there but we haven’t all been in the studio at the same time which was really fun.”
Her father, Herb, plays trombone and piano on the CD, while her sister, Abbie Gardner of Red Molly co-produced the album. She has also recently teamed up with Bluegrass Union to develop interactive Tot Bluegrass to children too young to join Bluegrass academies.
Gardner is a true talent for the town of Norwood, and she continues to add to her success in many ways. On top of everything else, she will also be doing a kid’s music special with Norwood Public Access, called NPAtv Tots Music Show. The episodes will be mainly pop music for kids. Right now her show is scheduled for three episodes.
For more information on Gardner, her music and classes, visit her website at:

by By Carissa Woolfe