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Candy and the Sweet Tooths, a group of four veteran jazz players led by local singer Carol Peters, has embarked on a mission to provide original music for children that is educational, clean, and often hilarious.

Peters says the group which performs at Bay Area clubs, camps and parties, “wants kids to know that there are lots of styles and forms of music that they can love but that kind of fall through the cracks. We have marches, bossas and waltzes. We do everything from hoe down to techno rock.”

Another feature of the group that generates approval is its “kid centric” point of view. Susan Pacini a Discovery Bay mother of two says, “The Sweet Tooths have a song for everything my kids care about—or I want them to care about. It’s a lot easier getting them to bed when they are singing along with “If I were an octopus and had eight arms I could put myself to bed so fast.”

Kids’ concerns are the Sweet Tooths’ concerns. The group’s lyrics chastise bullies, provide advice about nail biting and celebrate “mac and cheese.” I’ve been doing volunteer concerts for kids at Tel-Hi, our North Beach neighborhood center,” says Peters, “and I listen to what they care about”

But a Sweet Tooth performance is about more than music. Peters, an artist and mask maker, has created a pile of props that delight children. So during the octopus song a large but friendly octopus takes center stage. And when Peters sings about bullies, a cartoonish rendering of a mean and threatening lion is front and center. “By illustrating our songs, we encourage kids to see as well as to listen,” says Peters.

In addition to Peters (aka Candy) Sweet Tooth players include pianist Sue “Suzi Q” Crosman, violinist Benito Cortez, and drummer Steve “Goggleman” La Porta.

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