Amelia Robinson’s three-piece musical and instructional band, Mil’s Trills, won over kids and caregivers during a gig in Fort Greene Park yesterday, as part of the Music in the Grove series of concerts for young children.
Plucking and strumming a green a blue ukulele that blended with her floral print dress, Robinson introduced a series of scenarios and characters to the crowd with lyrics that were instantly accessible.
The singer won everyone over with her first song, about wanting to begin the day with breakfast in bed.
“What would you have for breakfast?” Robinson asked the crowd. One child yelled “pizza!” before “pancakes” achieved consensus.
When Robinson impersonated a crossing guard in the second song, drummer Justin Hofmann supplied a “thump” each time the singer said, “stop!” A Brooklyn native, Robinson encouraged the crowd to “come and be a part of the community.”
She asked everyone to stand up for the third song, which celebrated Hawaiian hula dancing. Groups of children in bright green, orange, blue, and red t-shirts colored the area between the south side of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument terrace and the grassy slope leading down to the park’s tennis courts and DeKalb Avenue.
Then the band played a song about Robinson’s dog, Lomito. The singer playfully asked children if “Lomi,” as she called him, was a shark, a cat, a quail, or a nightingale. Lorenzo Wolff, playing a dishwater silver sousaphone, issued a dubious honk after the last query.
Robinson celebrated her birthplace with Mil’s Trills’ last song of the day. “Yo! / Do you know? / What borough / We’re livin’ in?” she rapped.
Before the song began, Robinson asked kids who knew how to spell to help her shout out each letter in the answer.
Fort Greene Park Conservancy Chairperson Charles Jarden, who helped organize the event, said he appreciated how Robinson asked children to sing with her.
“I thought that was a brilliant stroke,” he said.
Jarden estimated yesterday’s crowd at 600, including adults. Robinson said she appreciated the younger audience members.
“The kids just get it automatically,” she said. “They’re just so free … and that’s exactly what my music is about.”
Robinson is currently working on two albums, one for children and one for adults, which she plans to release in January. In the meantime, Mil’s Trills will sound again at the free Hip Tot Music Fest Family Day this Sunday at noon in Greenwood Park in Park Slope.
Music in the Grove continues next Wednesday at 10 a.m. with Karen K and the Jitterbugs, and concludes the following week with Vered Music. Check the Fort Greene Park Conservancy website for information about more summer events.