"Irresistible... pairs bluegrass, bossa nova, and more with clever wordplay."
-- People magazine
"Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar."
-- The Washington Post
A leading figure in the children’s music world, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) is a former indie rocker who was awarded the first songwriting scholarship in the history of Berklee College of Music. He toured internationally prior to earning a masters of education and becoming a full-time family musician and teaching artist.
Mister G’s story begins when he was just about the same age as his devoted fans. Growing up as the son of noted children’s book author and illustrator Karen Gundersheimer, Mister G learned to value great writing for kids at a young age. After begging his parents to let him switch from recorder to guitar lessons, he started writing his first songs at the age of nine.
Ben’s origins as a bilingual songwriter trace back to his decision to study Spanish in middle school. At the time, he was convinced that he would grow up to be a baseball player and he wanted to be able to speak Spanish to his future teammates. While he never made it to the major leagues, his knowledge and love of Spanish have allowed him to carve out a unique path in the children’s music world.
ABC Fiesta, his literacy-themed, bilingual CD, was released on September 28th, 2013 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Inspired by his tours throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia, the album spans a wide range of musical styles from rock to reggae, funk to folk and a host of Latin influences. The video for the title track of the album debuted in The Washington Post.
“Hola Amigos” kicks off the album with an intoxicating blend of Latin rhythms and funky acoustic guitar that’s guaranteed to get the party started. The worldbeat-inspired “ABC Fiesta” is a celebration of letters, words and reading in both Spanish and English. “Cuento” is a lilting, acoustic, reggae lullaby written from the perspective of a child who wants to be read a story. The accordion-driven roots rock song, “Quiero Leer” is an ode to kids everywhere who can’t get enough books.
Ben first became interested in writing music for children when he was still performing for adults. In the late 90s, he created an educational side project, “The Roots Music Collective,” with his bandmates. The experience hooked him on the energy, curiosity and creativity of young audiences, and ultimately he decided to combine his background as a musician and songwriter with his passion for teaching children. Inspired by his students (who originally dubbed him ‘Mister G’), he began writing the songs that would comprise his debut family album Pizza for Breakfast.
His 2011 bilingual CD, BUGS, is a genre-hopping exploration of the natural world. The video for “Vamos a la Playa” was featured on national television during Hispanic Heritage Month. His 2012 release, Chocolalala, a collection of original, bilingual songs, won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and was on the 2013 Latin Grammy nominating ballot for Best Children’s Recording.