About The
Laurie Berkner
Band

Learn more about The Laurie Berkner Band, our mission, and our history!

Meet The Laurie
Berkner Band

Laurie Berkner Headshot

Laurie Berkner

Guitar & Vocals

Laurie Berkner has been a professional musician since 1992, but her success as a
children’s recording artist was a surprise to her. “It was so unexpected,” says Laurie.
“I’d been performing in rock bands and struggling to write original music. Writing music
for kids has not been a struggle at all. The more I started working on material for
children, the more I realized that it opened up creativity in me that I never knew I had.”


These days critics widely acknowledge Laurie’s major contribution toward launching
what is now dubbed the progressive “kindie rock” movement – i.e. less saccharine, more
rocking music that is not dumbed down for children. But it wasn’t simply an enormous
amount of talent that helped create an entire genre and skyrocketed Laurie to her current
position as “the queen of kids’ music” (People magazine). It was an ability to gain
parents’ enthusiasm for the songs as well. According to Laurie, “When I’m writing a
song, I’m thinking about whether the kids will like it and whether I’m going to connect to
them through it. I’m also thinking about whether I want to sing it over and over again, so
I guess that’s the part that connects with adults. ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ is a great
song for kids, but I couldn’t sing it 100 times!”

While Laurie never planned to be a children’s performer, looking back on her career it
almost seems inevitable. While growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, Laurie was always
involved in music, whether singing in choirs, playing in bands, or performing in musical
theater. In high school and throughout college (at Rutgers University), she toured Europe
with several choirs and orchestras as a soloist and guitarist. After graduation, Laurie
spent several years as a children’s music specialist at New York area preschool and day
care centers. Working with children became the perfect creative outlet for Laurie to
express her talents and create something that, she says, “has turned out to be incredibly
Rewarding.”

Laurie was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr. and was a
beloved presence on the network’s Jack’s Big Music Show series. Her music videos now
appear regularly on NBCUniversal’s Sprout House and on The Laurie Berkner Band’s
YouTube channel. She is a frequent presence on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live.  Laurie also created a ten-chapter Audible Original Series titled Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen, which debuted in November 2018. She maintains a busy touring schedule and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House, among many prestigious venues.

Laurie has released twelve bestselling, award-winning albums: Whaddaya Think Of That
(1997); Buzz Buzz (1998); Victor Vito (1999); Under A Shady Tree (2002); Rocketship
Run (2008); The Best Of The Laurie Berkner Band (2010); A Laurie Berkner Christmas
(2012); Laurie Berkner Lullabies (2014); The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection
(2014); Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs (2015); Superhero (2016); and
Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes (2017). Laurie has also released seven digital
collections of her songs: Laurie Berkner’s Food Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Animal Songs,
Laurie Berkner’s Transportation Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Classroom Favorites, Laurie
Berkner’s Movement Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Nature Songs, and Love (a digital
collection of favorite Laurie Berkner songs about all kinds of love).

Laurie’s Two Tomatoes Records has co-released (with Razor & Tie Entertainment) two DVDs: We Are . . . The Laurie Berkner Band (2006) and Party Day! (2011).

Laurie recently authored three picture books for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, each based on one of her beloved songs: We Are the Dinosaurs, Pillowland, and Monster Boogie, Laurie previously authored four books based on her songs, including two Barnes & Noble NOOK Kids™ e-books.


Venturing into the world of the theater Laurie has written music and lyrics for three Off-
Broadway children’s musicals produced by New York City Children’s Theater: Wanda’s
Monster (2013), The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess (2014), and
Interstellar Cinderella (2017).

Laurie continues to be inspired by her audience. “I want to create songs that matter for
children,” she says. “I was singing once and saw a four-year-old girl shut her eyes and
start swaying to the music. I thought, ‘That’s the reason I got into music.’ It keeps me
wanting to do more.”

When she’s not making music, Laurie enjoys visiting the farmers’ market for organic
produce, knitting, biking and spending time with her husband, Brian, and their daughter,
Lucy. They live in New York City.

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Susie Lampert Headshot

Susie Lampert

Keyboard, Piano, Vocals

Susie grew up in Pomona, New York in a large music-loving family including many cats and dogs. She started piano at an early age and continued sporadic lessons through the present.
She has a multitude of musical influences including Milton Nascimento, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, The Beach Boys, Steely Dan, Joao Gilberto, and Steve Lampert.

She has been playing and recording with Laurie for over 20 years and is currently working on her own art and music projects.

She loves her friends, family, New Hampshire, dancing, and winter.

Brady Rymer Headshot

Brady Rymer

Bass & Vocals

After a decade-long career with RCA Records jam band From Good Homes, recording and touring with acts from the Dave Matthews Band to Bob Dylan and Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Brady Rymer ventured into family music as he started his own family, releasing Good Morning, Gus in 2000. Since then, he’s released nine CDs.

Brady’s rootsy, accordion-laced pop and rock music regularly wins critical acclaim and national awards including three Children’s GRAMMY nominations as well as numerous Parents’ Choice Gold and NAPPA (National Parenting Publications) Gold Awards, and has garnered him a growing fan base of enthusiastic families. Together with his longtime bandmates, the Little Band That Could, he performs rockin’ live music for kids and families across the country.

Brady’s 2011 CD Love Me for Who I Am was inspired by his experience performing for and working with kids with Autism and special needs, and celebrates kids of all abilities. Laurie joins Brady on the album’s duet “Soft Things,” a sweet tune about all the things kids find comforting.  

A special “Let’s Move” edition of his tune “Jump Up” was included on the 2013 album Songs for a Healthier America, a compilation of songs produced by Hip Hop Public Health for former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. To encourage children to get active and make healthy choices, the album is available as a full-length free download on iTunes. Brady has also contributed songs to the HBO Family projects “A Family is a Family is a Family” and “Don’t Divorce Me.”

Brady serves on the Education Board of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the region’s musical heritage.

The stuffed lion is planted firmly on Brady’s head; he has played bass with the Laurie Berkner Band since 2011. Brady loves everyone involved in Laurie’s organization and feels so lucky to be part of the band. There’s nothing like coming off stage with his bandmates after a great show and meeting Laurie Berkner Band fans: a wonderful community of stomping dinosaurs, moonbeams, and bumblebees!

He lives on the North Fork of Long Island with his wife, Bridget, and two children Gus and Daisy and his new puppy Georgie Girl. He loves discovering new music, traveling, cooking for his family, playing with his puppy and exercising – all at the same time!

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Bobby Golden Headshot

Bobby Golden

Drums & Percussion

Bob Golden joined The Laurie Berkner Band as an official member in the spring of 2009. Says Laurie, “Bob Golden is the perfect fit for our band. He’s a great drummer who is extremely creative with every sound that he brings to each song. His playful energy and strong musicianship is just right for our live shows and recordings. He’s also a wonderful guy and a great engineer and producer.”

Laurie and Bob met on the set of Nick Jr.’s Jack’s Big Music Show, for which he was writing and producing songs. Laurie asked him to co-produce 2006’s We are . . . The Laurie Berkner Band  DVD, and 2008’s Rocketship Run CD, on which he also performed on drums, percussion and miscellaneous instruments as well as orchestrating several songs. Bob later began performing with the band at live shows.  Bob recently produced the music for Laurie’s latest DVD, Party Day!


Bob’s prolific television career has included writing and producing songs for Nick Jr. shows including Dora The Explorer and Jack’s Big Music Show; PBS shows such as Sesame Street and Gullah Gullah Island;  Disney’s Out of the Box and HBO’s Jammin’ Animals. Bob collaborated with Jonathan Larson on the popular children’s video Away We Go!, has scored numerous documentaries, and was music director, music producer and theme song composer for several television specials with Dave Attell, as well as for the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy, Martha Stewart’s Home for the Holidays and the Sundance channel’s Festival Dailies.

Bob also wrote and produced music for Michael Moore’s television series TV Nation and The Awful Truth, as well as for the award winning films, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 911 and Capitalism: A Love Story. He appeared as a drummer in the movies The 10 and What Happens In Vegas.  Bob composed all the music for the 2010 film Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks. He was the house drummer on NBC’s 30 Rock.

Bob co-authored The Jerky Boys: The Book and Why Didn’t I Think of That?, and co-wrote AOL’s first online interactive game for kids, The Quest.

Recently, Bobby has been composing music for HBO’s Last week tonight with John Oliver, he composed and produced the score for the PBS documentary series Women, War, and Peace,  he was the composer and music supervisor on the C word narrated by Morgan Freeman, and IN 2015, Bob made his Broadway debut producing the incidental music for Larry David’s A fish in the dark.  He is currently composing the score for an upcoming ESPN series.

A graduate of Brown University, Bob is an accomplished potter. He designed and made the tableware for restaurateur Zach Pelaccio’s Fish and Game.  Bob has had gallery shows at Ille Arts and the Celadon gallery in Long Island and is currently creating a line of tableware for designer Michael Del Piero.

When he’s not working in music and clay, Bob loves to surf and ski!

Websites:
www.savvykatmusic.com and bobgoldenceramics.com 

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Alumni
Brian Mueller Headshot

Brian Mueller

Former Bass Player

Brian Mueller appears on the band’s first four CDs as well as on the DVD We Are…The Laurie Berkner Band, both as a vocalist and playing electric bass, guitar and violin. He, Laurie and Susie performed live together from 2000 until 2006.

Brian grew up in New York and New Jersey and began his life in music playing viola in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Later, he played amplified viola with experimental rock groups and over the years started playing electric bass and guitar with various original rock bands.

After leaving The Laurie Berkner Band in 2006, Brian entered graduate school for a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.  He is now practicing as a therapist and pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology. He is also Laurie’s husband and the father of their daughter, Lucy Mueller.

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Adam Bernstein Headshot

Adam Bernstein

Former Bass Player

Adam Bernstein played bass on Laurie Berkner’s first three award-winning and critically acclaimed releases, 1997’s Whaddaya Think Of That?, 1998’s Buzz Buzz, and 1999’s Victor Vito before officially joining the band.   On 2008’s Rocketship Run, and the 2011 DVD Party Day! he expanded his contribution to the band by lending his singing, songwriting and arranging talents.

An accomplished composer, arranger and educator, Adam led the successful folk/rock/klezmer/funk 14-piece big band All God’s Children for six years. He later performed and/or recorded with a wide range of talented musicians and dancers, including Levon Helm;  Sahib Shihab; Perry Robinson; Walter Perkins; Ethel (string quartet); Teocinte (from El Salvador); Jack Hardy; Claire Daly; The Angstones; Solar; David Driver; Sean Altman and Jennifer Muller/The Works. In 1990 Adam toured Japan with Hilario Soto’s Higher Culture, and in 1993 studied percussion at the Escuela Nacional De Danzaq Moderna Y Folklorica in Havana, Cuba.  Adam has composed and arranged many scores for dance, which have been presented at performances spaces such as Columbia and Rutgers universities.

In 1998, while continuing to perform and record, Adam turned his attention toward jazz education. He recently ended his tenure as jazz director at the Berkeley-Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY and faculty member at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and currently heads the Jazz Mindfulness Program, an innovative music program combining meditation and jazz instruction for young people and adults. He has received a proclamation for his outstanding work in jazz education from Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz.

Adam has released four solo CDs, including Dust Off The Timeless Night, produced by They Might Be Giants’ drummer Marty Beller, and featuring special guest Laurie Berkner! His latest self-produced, arranged and recorded CD The World becomes Your Mirror was released in December, 2011 and features Marty Beller, Jack Petruzzelli (Rufus Wainwright/Fab Faux), Paul Carbonara, and many others.  

Adam left the Laurie Berkner Band in 2013 and is still actively making music! You can find him on Twitter: @iamthebassman  

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We love to give back!

Laurie has always felt it is very important to give back to the community in as many ways as possible. Here are just some of the organizations with whom she has partnered:

Seventh Generation Logo

Seventh Generation

In 2011, Laurie wrote a special song, One Seed to promote sustainability in partnership with the eco-friendly products company Seventh Generation. That song and four other Laurie Berkner Band tracks were available for free download with purchase of two specially marked Seventh Generation laundry or baby care items. The band also created a video for One Seed that highlights the importance of passing down caring for the earth and for our children from one generation to the next.

Room to Grow Logo

Room to Grow

New York and Boston-based charity Room To Grow provides new and nearly new clothing (newborn through size 4T), books, toys, and other essential items to babies born into poverty throughout their first three years of life. Laurie has been working with Room To Grow for many years, and in 2012 was presented with the organization’s Founder’s Award, which honors those whose work embodies the mission and values of Room to Grow.

Honest Tea Logo

Honest Tea

Honest Tea is a bottled organic tea company. In 2010 Laurie partnered with the Honest Kids division of the company in a national in-store promotion in which a coupon with a free download from The Best of The Laurie Berkner Band Album was placed on specially marked Honest Kid Pouches. The Laurie Berkner Band has also participated in cross-promotional social media contests with Honest Tea, and Honest Tea passes out free Honest Kids Juice Pouches at participating venues where the band plays.

The Pajama Program Logo

The Pajama Program

The Pajama Program provides pajamas and books to children in need entering foster care. The Laurie Berkner Band collected new children’s pajamas and books for The Pajama Program at select concert dates in 2009. Laurie also wrote the song Open Your Heart for the charity’s 2010 Valentine’s-themed awareness campaign.

Umi Shoes Logo

Umi Shoes

Children’s footwear company Umi sponsored shoe drives at select concerts in 2010 and 2011. Concert-goers were asked to bring new or gently used children’s shoes to the venues, where they were collected by the charitable organization Soles4Souls, which provides shoes to people in need in 125 countries.

Steps To Art Logo

Steps To Art

Laurie joined with children’s shoe manufacturer Elefanten and Americans For The Arts in 2002 to raise funds and awareness for preschool arts education through the sale of a limited edition CD, Bumblebees & Googleheads, featuring favorite Laurie Berkner Band songs.

Giving back on tour

The Laurie Berkner Band tries to involve giving back with each tour. Concert-goers have generously made donations at the band’s shows. The band has also performed at festivals with charitable components.

In 2017, Laurie performed 5 free concerts for children’s hospitals and schools serving children with special needs as part of her “Be A Superhero” Kickstarter campaign. Laurie and her team donated their time to the project, and the funds raised covered the costs of the concerts!

Charities The Laurie Berkner Band Has Supported
  • Heifer International
  • Kids Care Clubs
  • Creative Alternatives For The Arts
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • City Harvest
  • Resources for Community Living
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • American Red Cross
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Soles4Souls
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation
  • Autism Society of America
  • Churchill School and Center
  • Girl Power 2 Cure
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism One
  • The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network FAAN
  • The Pajama Program
  • The Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Earth Share
  • The March of Dimes
  • First Candle
  • Chicagoland Apraxia Center
  • Autism Speaks
  • Life is good®
  • Gilda’s LaughFest
  • Joe’s Pub Haiti Benefit
  • The Green Apple Music Festival’s Earth Day Celebration
  • Bankstreet School for Children
  • Bergen, PAC Benefit for Families of Victims of 9/11
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s “Healthy Kids Day”
  • Housingworks

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