The Kid Should See This

Sesame Street at Birdland, featuring jazz singer Joe Williams (1987)

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This 20-minute series of clips from episode 2260 of Sesame Street features the great Joe Williams, one of our favorite American jazz singers, performing at Sesame Street’s version of the iconic Birdland jazz club in New York City. Joe Williams’ hoppin’ boppin’ rendition of the movement song The Birdland Jump begins around 9m28s.

The video is packed with other segments from the episode, including Gordon and Telly Monster talking about Birdland, singing in the shower with Olivia, Ernie, Oscar, and Big Bird (1m37s), Telly meeting Juliet, and a short jazzy clip of flowers growing on a tree.

singing in the shower
Another Birdland performance starts around 14m30s:

“Hoots and Joe Williams have just finished a musical number when Hoots asks the audience to welcome his friend Telly who’s visiting Birdland for the first time. Williams invites him up onto the stage to sing with them, but Telly is worried someone will take his seat. Juliet says she’ll watch it for him, but Telly worries that she might leave. Juliet worries Telly might not come back to her table, so they each promise to stick around.

“Williams begins the song, but Telly says he doesn’t know the words. Williams tells him just to listen and he’ll catch on. By the end of the song, Telly is scatting along confidently.”

After Juliet and Telly learn how to make a plan to see each other at the playground, the clip ends with Williams singing a jazzy version of the Sesame Street theme song over the episode credits.

Joe Williams and Telly
Enjoy these Sesame Street and jazz videos next:
β€’Β Talkin’ Scat with Hoots the Owl and Gordon
β€’Β What is Jazz? Ella Fitzgerald & Mel TormΓ© explain
β€’Β Saxophone Factory, a 1980 classic from Sesame Street
β€’Β Trombone Shorty read by Angela Bassett
β€’Β β€œJazz is the mother of hip hop.”
β€’ Ella Fitzgerald scat singing One Note Samba (1969)

Bonus: Sesame Street’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.

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