The Bright Siders present music that helps kids and families have meaningful conversations about emotions. Created by award-winning songwriter Kristin Andreassen and Brooklyn child psychiatrist Dr. Kari Groff, the Bright Siders feature excellent musicianship and skillful audience engagement from Andreassen, Groff and a rotating cast including the best in the acoustic music scene. Once-and-future collaborators have included members of Punch Brothers, Aoife O’Donovan, Jefferson Hamer, and Cassandra Jenkins.
Andreassen, who toured world stages as a singer and percussive dancer with the renowned stringband Uncle Earl, had a #1 kids’ radio hit with the infectiously rhythmic “Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes”. Dr. Groff is well-known in NYC and beyond for her warm and genuine approach to young patients, drawing on years of experience as both a respected physician and a raging old time fiddler in the joyful music she creates.
Andreassen and Groff are working with Smithsonian Folkways to release a debut Bright Siders album this year. They look forward to the opportunity to bring a live version of the album to performing arts centers, schools, libraries, festivals, and any venue where an interactive & educational family-friendly music show is appreciated.
Meet the bright siders
Kristin Andreassen combines award-winning songwriting and percussive dance in performances that have been heralded “inventive” by the New Yorker and “haunting” by NPR’s Folk Alley. Since coming of age with two of America’s most beloved traditional music ensembles (Uncle Earl and the clogging company Footworks) as well as the "folk noir" songwriting trio Sometymes Why (with Aoife O’Donovan and Ruth Ungar), Kristin has turned her deep knowledge of timeless roots music into a knack for creating original songs with a similar kind of staying power.
Based in Nashville, Kristin has become a respected voice in songwriter circles, with music heard on Showtime’s The Affair and ABC’s Nashville and songs co-written and/or covered by such artists as Elephant Revival, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, and Caitlin Canty. Her song “Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes” (Kiss Me Hello, 2007) hit #1 on the kids' music radio charts and has been covered by dozens of artists ranging from Tyne Daly to high school marching bands. Kristin has been a featured performer on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion; her dancing feet have been heard in the film Cedar Rapids; and NPR's Mountain Stage chose her 2015 performance as one of year's ten best.
In 2011 Kristin co-founded Miles of Music Camp, a series of artist retreats for musicians interested in cultivating the fertile ground between songwriting and traditional music. Kristin facilitates life-long learning and community, enjoying nothing more than teaching a pile of square dance beginners how to do a Grand Chain.
Kari Groff, MD is a well-known New York City child psychiatrist who has been fortunate to enjoy a parallel career as a NYC musician and song-writer. She completed her psychiatry training at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she served as chief resident and was the recipient of the highest teaching award for her commitment to medical excellence. She is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the highest academic medical honor society in the medical profession and was elected by her peers to the prestigious Gold Humanism in Medicine Society, an award that celebrates a physician's ability to practice compassionate medicine and serve as a role model to other physicians.
Dr. Groff completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the NYU Child Study Center where she were she truly began to merge her interests of psychiatry and music. Supported by her mentors and professors at NYU and Penn and encouraged by the vibrant NYC Americana music community, she set out on a song-writing project that would become an album of psychological guidance through songs for children. Each song is deeply influenced by the courage and strength of young patients and she credits the emotional inspiration of her song-writing to their journeys. She is deeply grateful to her friend and collaborator, Kristin Andreaasen, who brought her musical expertise, lyrical skills, and creative vision to fully create The Bright Siders.