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Will Stroet, an award-winning bilingual children’s musician and educator, connects with kids through high-energy, interactive and educational music in English and French. Will is also the star of Will’s Jams, fun and educational music videos airing on Kids’ CBC television weekday mornings at 9:25 AM and in the U.S. on DISH Video-On-Demand and DISH Anywhere.
“There are a lot of kids’ musicians in this country, but I really feel like Will’s music stands out. As a former teacher, he really understands kids, so the music isn’t condescending but rather respectful, empowering, educational and celebratory.”
-Kim Wilson, head of children’s programming, Kids’ CBC
Catchy and kinetic, Will and his Backyard Band perform a high-energy show for young audiences with fun actions and sing-along choruses.
Will first discovered his talent for writing children’s music while completing his bachelor of education at the University of B.C. After releasing his first CD in 2005, “Let’s All Dance,” and receiving great reviews from kids, parents, teachers and event organizers, Will knew he had found his calling. Since then, Will has performed more than 1,000 shows at major festivals, schools and theatres across Canada.
Will has released eight albums of original music (four in French and four in English) and one DVD, which have garnered international recognition. He has received a 2011 Kids Music Award, a 2011 West Coast Songwriters Award, approval from the Parents’ Choice Awards, and multiple nominations from the Western Canadian Music Awards, the Canadian Independent Music Awards and Canadian Folk Music Awards. Will’s music is also featured on Putumayo’s compilation, “Kids World Party,” and is on regular rotation online on Galaxie radio and CBC Music.
Will is also part of B.C.’s ArtStarts in Schools roster and a board member. He also leads artist-in-residency programs for students and music workshops for teachers.
Elliot Langford is the bassist in the Backyard Band and is busy working as both a performer and teacher. He graduated with a BMus from Vancouver Community College in 2009. In addition to playing with Will, Elliot plays in several other bands, including an original rock band called “Sprïng” (also featuring Kevin of the Backyard Band!) Elliot has toured extensively across North America and Europe. He is also active as a guitar teacher, having taught music lessons for over 10 years, and is a co-founder of the Mount Pleasant Music Teachers Co-Op. Visit Elliot’s website at elliotlangford.wordpress.com.
Kevin Romain is the drummer in the Backyard Band and a top-call musician in a wide range of styles in Vancouver’s busy music scene. He has been playing and performing across Canada and internationally for the past decade. He studied jazz and contemporary music at Vancouver Community College, and teaches drums and percussion at the Mt Pleasant Music Teachers Co-Op. For more information about Kevin, check out www.kevinromain.com.
“I believe that Will is the kind of performer that will follow in the footsteps and take up the mantle of past iconic children’s performers like Raffi, Fred Penner and Sharon Lois and Bram. His music and performance style has weight and character and he is on the cusp of becoming a household name.”
- Casey Prescott, Associate Director of Producing, Banff Centre
“Will Stroet has great energy–the kids pick up on that and are very keen to join in singing and doing actions. He is the best performer I have ever seen in an elementary school because the kids were so engaged.”
- Meredith Fenton, vice-principal, West Vancouver
“We often get CD’s and DVD’s sent to us for review. Most come home to our best critics… The kids! Will’s Jams is the first DVD I’ve brought home to my house where both kids (2 and 4) watch enthusiastically, asking for more. There is a good variety of tunes and beats and the videos are creative and interesting to watch—for adults too. The songs are addictive and have an educational aspect to them so the kids are learning without knowing it.”
- Andrea Vance, publisher, WestCoast Families magazine
“Will Stroet’s show is always a memorable experience. I love bringing him to the Surrey International Children’s Festival because he is a bilingual performer. The great thing about Will’s show is that he’s not just fun for the kids, he does a performance that is really engaging for the whole family.”
- Marnie Perrin, artistic director, Surrey International Children’s Festival
“Educational, fun loving, funky folk-rock that children of any age can love and learn from. Upbeat and always entertaining and educational, Will Stroet brings to children’s music what is truly needed; a sense of loving the little things in life while exploring the world around you. With songs like “Pete the Funky Monkey” or the “Bike Safety Boogie” to groove to, Will WILL be around in this scene for a long time to come.”
- Zachary Monson, Programmer, Galaxie Digital Radio’s “Kid’s Stuff” channel
“Will Stroet is a hero in our household… and not just to our kids! His witty and fun lyrics educate without being preachy and his music is catchy yet sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy too. My kids love the energy at his live concerts and with the release of Will Jams, we now get to have our own concerts in our living room. Will rocks!”
- Sharon Boglari, Vancouver mom of two boys ages 2 & 4