Father Goose is best known as Dan Zanes’s Jamaican secret weapon. But on October 4, he’ll play Symphony Space solo, kicking off its fall kids’ series. “It’s kind of strange,” Goose says. “I’m used to looking over and seeing Dan beside me. It’s something to get used to.” With two kids now 13 years old and 5 months old, this Brooklyn dad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. His energetic blend of reggae, rap, folktales, funk, and calypso gets the kids jumping and drives parents to embarrassing feats of seat dancing. Plus the venue is special to him, explains Goose: “That’s my spot. They always welcome me with open arms. The fans—oh, gosh—they’re like none other. They saw me through good times and helped me through real bad times. I came from my father’s funeral one day straight to Symphony Space. I got off the plane and did two shows, and how they received me! That really touched me.” Goose, a.k.a. Wayne Rhoden, a.k.a. Rankin Don, hasn’t always performed for children. “I love being Father Goose. I could never miss what I was doing before,” he says. “Whatever I feel in my heart is what I relate. I try to get a point across.” His main point is peace. “I try to create world peace one neighborhood at a time. When people come together as friends and family and they party and have a good time, there is no room for war. If I keep spreading the joy, the love, sooner or later it will be one big party.” It’s a Bam Bam Diddly, the title of his most recent CD, means a never-ending party. At this particular fest, Goose says, fans can “expect a lot of dancing, singing along, call-and-response. I’m going to take you on a wild ride all around the Caribbean and then to hit the streets of Brooklyn and the streets of New York.”
10/4, 11 a.m. 2537 Broadway, nr. 95th St. (212-864-5400 or symphonyspace.org); adults, $25–$27; children, $15–$17.