Kid stuff! Karen K leads the Jitterbugs at Carroll Park on Aug. 17

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Calling all jitterbugs.

Karen Kalafatas, who goes by the simpler Karen K, and her band, the Jitterbugs, come to Carroll Park on Aug. 17 for a free concert featuring one of the stars of the local “kindie” music scene.

Kalafatas splits time between Carroll Gardens and Boston, but her new CD, “Pancakes for Dinner,” led to a sold-out show at Jalopy earlier this year, putting her in the ranks of kid music stars such as Laurie Berkner and Barry Louis Polisar.

She’s following the formula: playful tunes that both kids and adults can listen to.

It helps that Kalafatas is constantly surrounded by her target audience — songs like the title track, as well as “I Wanna Be a Jitterbug,” “If I Were a Toy,” and “That’s What I’m Wearing Today” are inspired by the kids in her music classes, as well as her 4-year-old daughter.

“Kids see things so differently — a bean isn’t just a bean, it’s a magic bean. A jump rope is a jump rope and also a tight rope and a spider web,” said Kalafatas. “It really makes us jaded adults see the world differently. I never run out of material.”

Karen K and the Jitterbugs at Carroll Park (President and Smith streets in Carroll Gardens), Aug. 17 at 4 pm. Free. For info, visit

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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