“Endearing & Inspiring music for ALL!”
This album is one we will be listening to on repeat as we get ready for school each morning. Thank you Jesse for the feel-good music.
Awesome! holds a very special meaning for Jesse Jukebox, who, every day, strives to bring to children the message that, no matter what, there is plenty of “awesome” inside each one.
With irrepressible energy and an outrageous sense of fun, Cleveland’s beloved family musician, Jesse Jukebox (a.k.a. Jesse Friedberg), celebrates a positive message of high hope in his third kids’ album, Awesome! Packed with lyrical wisdom born of Jesse’s experiences growing up with ADHD, Awesome! is available now!
JESSE JUKEBOX TURNS ADHD CHILDHOOD MEMORIES INTO AWESOME! SONGS FOR EVERY AWESOME KID OUT THERE!
“When I was a child, I felt misunderstood. I didn’t quite fit in,” explains Jesse. “I had speech problems (I couldn’t say anything but the ABCs until I was 3), vision problems (I’ve had glasses my entire life), teeth problems (my overbite was out of control), learning problems, and behavioral problems. As a toddler, I was kicked out of a Daddy & Me class. When I was a bit older, I struggled in school. It was so hard to pay attention and understand the lessons. One teacher actually told me I was stupid. The faculty just gave up on me and advised my parents to expect me to never be more than an average to below-average student. My parents didn’t give up on me though, and, with their support, I finally began to get the help I needed when I was diagnosed with ADHD. This led to many positive changes in my life. I switched to a new school and saw lots of different specialists (speech, motor, learning). It was then that I began to understand myself, and this opened the door to learning the skills I would need to enjoy a happy and productive life.” Jesse continues, “So, what does all this have to do with my new album? In a lot of ways, Awesome! is meant to remind kids who might be going through similar trials that they aren’t alone and to urge everyone to go on a treasure hunt for that sense of ‘awesome’ that lies within, waiting to be discovered.”
The title track comes bursting out of the chute with awesome energy, listing the many awesome pieces of a child’s world that just might have been overlooked. An ode to intuition, “Listen to Your Gut” is all about that overwhelming and sometimes terrifying feeling that comes with decision-making and how it usually helps to rely on our instincts. The message of “Incredible Shoes” is that even though kids are often different from one another, they can develop empathy through the simple connection of sharing things that are universally loved, like a new pair of shoes. “Complicated Kid,” a song dealing with themes close to Jesse’s heart, conveys how easy it is to feel misunderstood. We aren’t simply “bad” or “scared,” we’re just complicated! “I Wanna Learn” explodes with an overwhelming enthusiasm for learning, while “Where You Belong” is all about everyone’s quest to find their place in the world, comforting young listeners with the confidence that comes from a sense of self-acceptance.
* Jaison Anderson, does ASL translation throughout the video.
“We are all AWESOME!”
My daughters loved watching this music video with me. The song is simple enough for them to sing-along to as they dance to the feel-good beat. I love any song that has a great message and boosts a child’s confidence. Jesse’s album may only have 6 songs but, they are all great and the lyrics are relatable for all kids. And Jesse is could not be more right, we are all AWESOME!
Throughout the album, Jesse Jukebox intersperses shouting and talking between the vocals, giving Awesome! what he describes as a real “ADHD feel.”
Awesome! was produced by Grammy winner Dean Jones, and Jesse is quick to point out the enormous contribution Dean made to this project. Reflecting on the good times he and Dean had in their recording sessions, Jesse enthuses, “Dean was loose and open for collaboration, and he helped me write and record some of my best work. We put a lot of energy into making the songs the very best they could possibly be. No doubt they aren’t perfect, but then music sung from the heart isn’t supposed to be. It should be beautifully
flawed, just like people are.”
Jesse Friedberg is on a mission to inspire children and their parents to be creative, compassionate, free-thinking, and a little bit smarter than he is (which is pretty darn smart). Jesse pursues his mission by writing and recording original children’s music. He also performs amusing, thrilling, and interactive live shows that entertain children and adults alike. Jesse started taking piano lessons at age 7 and picked up the guitar when he was 14. At 16, he acquired his first electric guitar, a Fender Telecaster, and concurrently became a huge fan of The Who. “I wanted to be just like Pete Townshend,” says Jesse. “I taught myself to play all Who songs and then realized that Pete also wrote all the songs himself, so I started writing songs as well. From that point on, I was completely obsessed with music.”
After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a major in songwriting, instead of mastering the art of jazz or shredding guitars, Jesse decided to dedicate his time to writing, recording, and performing fun and catchy music for kids and families.
In 2012, Jesse recorded a children’s album titled Jesse’s Jukebox with multi-platinum-award-winning producer Michael Seifert. In 2017 he released a follow up children’s album, Jesse’s Jukebox: There’s Music Everywhere. Jesse’s passion for working with children led him to pursue his master’s degree in early childhood education from Ursuline College. After receiving his degree in 2015, he spent two years as a primary school teacher at the Intergenerational School, a charter school in urban Cleveland. Jesse now applies his teaching skills to the popular, interactive early childhood music classes he offers in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, at the Mandel JCC in Beachwood, Ohio, and at synagogues and preschools throughout the greater Cleveland area. He is also devoted to working with inner city kids in the Notes for Notes program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
Jesse is driven by rock and roll, the blues, Batman, electric guitars, silliness, funky bass lines, pizza, corny jokes, loud drums, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, banjos, outer space, and all things awesome.
Awesome! is available NOW!
Available at Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Bandcamp, and CDBaby.
Release Date: January 17, 2020
For ages 0 – 8
Label: Bovine Music
Run time: 17 minutes
AWESOME! TRACK LIST:
Listen to Your Gut
I Wanna Learn!
Where You Belong