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Karen K and the Jitterbugs brings show to the Boardman library

Published: Fri, August 22, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.


When Hop (Eric Salt) joined his bandmates on the stage, the singing of "The Jitterbug Song" began in earnest at the Boardman library.


Neighbors | Tim Cleveland.Karen Kalafatas asked the children questions to get the performance of Karen K and the Jitterbugs started.


Neighbors | Tim Cleveland.Karen K (left) and Bumble (Seth Connelley) began singing "The Jitterbug Song" during their performance at the Boardman library.


Neighbors | Tim Cleveland.Karen K got the children up and stretching during the performance of Karen K and the Jitterbugs at the Boardman library.


Neighbors | Tim Cleveland.Boardman library youth librarian Katherina Matasic (left) introduced Karen Kalafatas prior to the performance of Karen K and the Jitterbugs.



As part of its tour, the musical group Karen K and the Jitterbugs made a stop on Aug. 5 at Boardman library.

The group consists of Karen K [Kalafatas], Bumble [Seth Connelley] and Hop [Eric Salt]. The fourth member, Love Bug, is Karen’s daughter Becca. She missed the show as she was home with her father.

Karen K and the Jitterbugs are based out of Boston and have won a Parents Choice Award for their music. The group does hundreds of shows per year. The performance at Boardman library consisted of 15 songs and lasted 45 minutes. They have been performing together for 3 1/2 years.

“We write songs that we hope adults can enjoy as much as the kids,” Karen K said. “Our show takes place in our Bug Out, which is our imaginary fort in our backyard. The Jitterbugs are my imaginary friends that come and make music and play with us.”

Karen said the birth of her daughter was the impetus for her starting to sing.

“I have a daughter and when she was born about seven years ago, I started writing songs for her,” she said. “I think most kids’ musicians you talk to have been inspired by the kids in their life to want to play with them and want to be a kid all over again. This was a great way to do that.”

Katie Munch of Boardman attended the show with her 4-year-old daughter Lilly. Katie said she heard about the show through the library’s newsletter.

She said she knew nothing about the show in advance but she and Lilly were excited to see it.

Karen K said that while the songs she and her group performs are intended to be fun, they are also meant to be educational.

“Some of them are learning songs,” she said. “We talk about crossing the street safely in one song; we talk about being kind and being a good friend in another song. A lot of our themes are about bringing joy and kindness to the world. Every song is a little bit different. Some are just for fun.”

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