Sonshine and Broccoli celebrate 10 years
Musical duo Lisa Sonshine and Brock (Broccoli) Burford are celebrating a decade of success as the entertainers of choice for kids in the two to seven age range.
Sonshine & Broccoli’s focus of singing, movement, and music have earned them a following of young screaming kids who rock it out at their sold-out concerts.
In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Sonshine & Broccoli will perform on Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Michael’s College Centre for the Arts in a kick-off event for Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital’s inaugural Rock’n’Stroller walk, with a portion of all proceeds supporting high-risk births at the hospital.
“We are having a special guest appearance, lots of fun activities, a full band, and a choir made up of Sonshine & Broccoli’s biggest fans – the kids – who will help me sing the Frozen song,” said Sonshine.
“Moms, dads and their kids who have been with us throughout our 10-year journey will join us on stage to rock out and jam,” added Burford.
Inspiring kids to think about the world in new ways, Sonshine & Broccoli have skillfully crafted original songs into entertaining and educational concerts that reinforce concepts such as kindness, respect, literacy, anti-bullying, environmental and safety issues.
“We aspire to engage children, have fun through entertainment, and build self-esteem without sacrificing the integrity of the music,” Burford explained.
As best friends, they have been writing and singing together for 15 years.
“Writing our own material is natural because we put ourselves in the role of a child. It is all about discovery, imagination and beautiful lessons. Kids respond to our singing in the first 30 seconds. It is such a gift at the end of the day,” said Sonshine.
Sonshine and Burford have combined their musical talent, infectious enthusiasm, and love of children.
When they were fresh out of the musical theatre program at Sheridan College, Sonshine asked Burford, who played guitar, for a little help with her first “Mom and Tot” music class.
They wrote the Welcome Song and Goodbye song and the kids responded enthusiastically. “From there, Sonshine & Broccoli was born,” explained Sonshine.
Establishing a community-wide name for themselves, Sonshine & Broccoli decided to cut their first album, Sonshine and Broccoli Jam, in 2004.
“We recorded it very grassroots and it was a huge hit. People went crazy. To this day we hear from parents: ‘Sonshine & Broccoli Jam is the kids’ favourite music to listen to in the car,’” said Sonshine.
Building on its success, Sonshine & Broccoli recorded their second album Feel The Beat in 2009.
“That time, we recorded in an amazing studio working with top engineers,” recalled Sonshine.
Fans can look forward to Sonshine & Broccoli’s third album, It’s a Beautiful Day.
The entrepreneurial duo continue to offer interactive music classes for moms and tots, birthday parties and shows that incorporate program themes such as lesson plans or educational messages including Jewish content about Shabbat and holidays.
“We have developed a music program for older kids seven to 12 years of age called Pop Stars, where kids write and record their own songs. Pop Stars introduces the basics of songwriting: melody, rhythm, chorus and verse.
“Kids are honest. They will let you know if they like your music or not. That is how we have created the music and performances that we do,” said Burford.
Touring festivals across Canada, Sonshine & Broccoli have been featured on Rogers Television, MuchMusic and MenschLife TV.
“We belong on stage,” added Sonshine. “That’s our happy place.”