'Beluga grads' bringing their kids to his shows, and Raffi couldn't be more pleased

His songs have served as the soundtrack for many a Canadian childhood. Raffi will be performing in Edmonton this weekend at the Winspear Centre.

'I've come to know kids as the amazing people that they are,' says beloved performer

Children's entertainer Raffi is performing in Edmonton this weekend. (Raffi/Facebook)

His songs have served as the soundtrack for many a Canadian childhood.

Now Raffi Cavoukian, known to his fans simply as Raffi, is endearing himself to a new generation of young fans and serving up some musical nostalgia to their parents.

The soft-spoken children's performer will be taking the stage Sunday afternoon at Edmonton's Winspear Centre — and he has no doubt the audience will be a mix of young and old.

People who grew up on his biggest hits like Baby Beluga, Bananaphone and Down By the Bay are now grown, and returning to his concerts with children of their own.

"They are adults now who, when they were children were singing Baby Beluga," Cavoukian said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. "They grew up with my music."

Cavoukian calls his adult fans "Beluga grads."

'So much love' 

"I feel incredibly lucky to be making music at my age," said Cavoukian, 70.

"The parents who are there with their kids are experiencing the music relative to their childhood memories. They're also seeing the delight in the faces of their young, so all together there is so much love in the hall, it's amazing.

"I'm looking forward to that at the Winspear."

Cavoukian has been entertaining children with his memorable folk songs and intimate performances for decades.

And now, more than 40 years after releasing his first folk compilation, Raffi has a new album — Dog on the Floor, released in 2018. The album is an ode to his dog Luna.

Cavoukian knows his fans well and expects his new songs will be of interest to "young ears."

"I think over the years, I've come to know kids as the amazing people that they are," he said.

"It's just a matter of respect for the brilliance of life at that early formative time."

The older he gets, the more he comes to appreciate his young fans.

"I grow in my love and admiration of the intelligence at play in a young child. It's honest. It's creative. it's spontaneous.

"I think, all of us, as a society, have a duty to do our best for our young so they can grow up confident and cheerful and resourceful and add their best to our society."


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