Portland Kindie Artist Spotlight: Tallulah’s Daddy

Photo by Joy Marie Boyle, courtesy Matt Lynch

Matt Lynch has been making music his whole life, but it was only when he became a stay-at-home-dad that the most satisfying (and profitable) part of his career began. 

While attending a performance with his daughter Tallulah, Matt met Mr. Ben, a beloved local children’s musician, who just happened to be forming a band. They spent a Sunday afternoon playing music and were performing together at Mississippi Pizza the next day (where he still plays today). 

Tallulah’s Daddy was born. 

“When I decided to be a stay-at-home parent, I thought I was giving up my career,” says Matt. In fact, just the opposite happened. And Matt has paid it forward; he was able to encourage Aaron Canwell in the same way Mr. Ben inspired him. You may know Canwell as part of the local kindie band Micah and Me

Matt plays bass, keyboard and trumpet, but at his kid concerts you’ll see him on guitar, brandishing a bucket of shakers for the fan-favorite, “Shake and Stop” song. “I try to make the performances low key, especially when the show starts, and as the show goes on, I build up the interactive aspect of it,” he says. While “Shake and Stop” gets the most love at performances, his most downloaded song of all time is “The Sandbox,” which features Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee Paul Brainard on pedal steel guitar. The line, “It’s safe to fall in the sandbox,” resonates with kids and adults alike. After the last few years, it’s nice to remember there are safe places to fall.

Credit: Rachael Harms Mahlandt

You can find Matt every month at Mississippi Pizza, on the first Saturday, at 5pm. He’ll also be playing with the house band at the Ukulele Jam & Sing Along at the City Fair in Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Sunday, May 28, from 2-6 pm. So grab your ukuleles and come strum along!

And drum roll … don’t miss Matt at the free PDX Parent Family Festival presented by Xfinity on Saturday, June 24 at our new location — Topaz Farm!

In August, Matt will also be a returning performer, and the stage manager for family programming at this year’s Pickathon music festival at Pendarvis Farm August 3-6.

The best way to support Matt is by going to a live show or booking him to perform at your next birthday party or event. You can find him on his website: Make Music with Matt. He also teaches piano lessons; send him a message to learn more. Fans of Tallulah’s Daddy will have stars in their eyes when they learn he could be their music teacher! 

During COVID, Matt made the decision to return to college and finish his undergraduate degree, and next month he’ll graduate with a bachelor’s in Social Science from Portland State University. This summer, he’ll start the Graduate Teacher Education Program to become a licensed elementary school teacher. He’s says he’s excited for this opportunity. Even better: your kiddo may run into him during the 2024-25 school year!

A local nanny, no stranger to kids’ activities, says this of Tallulah’s Daddy performances:

Tallulah’s Daddy is very different from some of the local performers in that his show is meant to be simple. It’s refreshing — there are very few bells and whistles but the performance doesn’t leave you wanting more. It’s just Matt, a couple of guitars, a cajon (a really cool Peruvian box drum) and some shakers. The show is acoustic, the lyrics are easy to learn and the beats are perfect for little clapping hands.

Matt is also exceptional at explaining and engaging children in basic musical concepts of volume, tempo and pitch, as well as being sure to clearly introduce the instruments he uses… It only took a few songs to get [my client’s daughter] Margot up on her own, clapping, growling, dancing and shaking egg shakers. She particularly loved the poppy sound of the cajon.

More performances will be added to our popular Kids Calendar, so be sure to check it regularly. 

Meg Asby
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