The husband and wife duo who perform as Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band have been winning kids’ hearts and national accolades with their bilingual, upbeat songs. Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis have seven albums to date, have won a Latin Grammy for their children’s album Fantastico! and released “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too” in 2013, a popular PBS TV show. They have also appeared on Univision, E! and Sprout TV.
A diverse group of families and kids were dancing and prancing at the Kiddie Limits stage for their set on Saturday afternoon. We caught up with them before their show.
How did you both meet?
Alisha: I was a stand-up comic at the time at the Comedy Store at Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and he came to one of my shows. He said he saw me and knew right away that he wanted to be with me. I said no, but he was very persistent and kept emailing me. I finally gave him my phone number and we talked for 6 hours, and the next day we had lunch and he said, “listen, I know there’s something special about you and I’ll stick around until we figure it out.’ And now we’re married with a baby.
Where are you from?
Alisha is from Indiana and I was born in Miami, raised in Northern California. I have a lot of family in Texas. My parents are from Jerez, Zacatecas, in Mexico.
What is your songwriting process?
It depends. If I’m writing things in English, the music comes first and then the words. If i’m writing in Spanish it starts with and idea and the music follows. If I mix languages it’s a different thing, I love to play with words, like with the word “pinata” and then in English it goes with “attack,” so we get “pinata attack.” Right now I’m writing an album in Spanish, but come Sunday I may want to write songs in English.
Do you think the demographics right now are right for a bilingual children’s band?
Lucky: There are many Chicanos like me, many families who are from Mexico and here, they’re Mexican, they’re Latino, Alisha and I have a mixed child, so we represent a lot of what’s happening right now. So I think the demographic is ready for them.
Alisha: It’s a global economy. I think most families, whether you’re a mixed family or one race, you want your children speaking multiple languages, traveling the world. Being bilingual in English and espanol gives them a jump-start in their educational development.
What is your hope for children and families today?
Alisha: It takes a lot of work to get out to see music with a child, to see art, to see culture, to experience the world you have to pack the strollers, the snacks, but it’s so worth it to go out and explore the world as a family.