Hot Peas 'N Butter
Hot Peas 'N Butter is a children's musical group founded by Danny Lapidus and Francisco Cotto, both professional musicians in New York City. Lapidus and Cotto have been best friends since childhood, both having grown up in New York (Brooklyn and The Bronx)
The band operates on the principle that one can create music that appeals to children without lowering musical standards. As a featured group on Kids' Stuff, and with the appearance of their hit videos, "Number 1" and "Deep Down", on Nickelodeon and Noggin on Jack's Big Music Show, Hot Peas 'N Butter's prominence and notability are on the rise.
The band was formed in 2000 by friends Danny Lapidus and Francisco Cotto.
Danny Lapidus was born in Belgium, but his family returned to Brooklyn when he was only three. Lapidus' love of music began back then, sparked by his father filling the house with the sounds of jazz, folk, blues, and bluegrass. Then in later years, Professor Louie—a pioneering children's musician—taught Danny how to reach young children through a caring, professional performance.
After attending the High School of Music & Art in New York City, Lapidus earned his undergraduate degree at Binghamton University. As a professional musician, he has performed with such acts as Dominico, Wendy Star, Zoot, The Skadanks, and Oliver Lake, and has been featured as a vocalist on various commercial recordings. His own rock band, The Danny Lapidus Band, has opened for high-profile groups like Stroke 9 at Irving Plaza and The Wetlands.
As a professional producer and engineer, Lapidus has composed, arranged, recorded, and mixed music for film and television with clients ranging from Oxygen, JP Morgan & Chase, Verizon, McCann-Erickson and many more. All the music he produces (including Hot Peas 'n Butter's) is created in his own midtown NYC recording studio - The Pod, Audio Productions.
When the time came to plan his own children's project, Lapidus immediately turned to best friend and acclaimed musician Francisco Cotto for support.
Cotto was born in Puerto Rico, and came to New York at the age of seven, settling with his family in the Bronx. Cotto was first exposed to music in a Pentecostal Church in Harlem, where, at only nine years old, he became a member of the church band. A friend later convinced him to audition for the High School of Music and Art (LaGuardia) in Manhattan, where he was immersed in all genres of music, but found himself particularly drawn to jazz. He later joined the Children's Aide Society, where he incorporated all that he'd learned, performing for the benefit and enjoyment of children.
After graduating from high school, Cotto cultivated his musical education at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and later at Lehman College.
As a professional musician, Cotto has recorded and performed with Lew Soloff, Bernard Purdie, Bob Mintzer, Jimmy Cobb, Mike Stern, The Authority, Sonido Isleno, Johnny Colon, Jerry Gonzalez, C&C Music Factory's Brian McKnight & The Hansons (dance remix), Yomo Toro, Yerbabuena and others. His own band, Vaya, an eclectic mix of Latin rhythms with contemporary blues & rock, performs regularly throughout New York.
- Danny Lapidus - (Lead vocals)
- Francisco Cotto - (Vocals, bass)
- Rich Mercurio - (Drums)
- Oz Noy - (Guitar)
- Jorge "Georgie" Vazquez - (Percussion)
Hot Peas 'N Butter Volume 1: A Few New Friends (2002)
- Johnny Booker
- Bobby Bass
- Mi Cuerpo
- Little Red Caboose
- I Hear You Knockin'
- The Wise Old Man
Hot Peas 'N Butter Volume 2: A Second Helping (2006)
- My Dog Rags
- The Central Park Zoo
- Joe And The Button Factory
- Railroad Bill
- Cincinnati Block
- Hot Peas 'N Butter
Hot Peas 'N Butter Volume 3: Mo Hotta Mo Butta! (2006)
- Deep Down
- I'm So Glad I'm Here
- Que Lueva
- Number One
- Down Down Baby
- Moishe The Camel
- Garcon et Filles
- The Waterhole
- Que Bonita Bandera
Hot Peas 'N Butter Volume 4: The Pod Squad (2008)
- Somos Familia
- Different Spokes For Different Folks
- Beautiful Dream
- Ocho Candelikas
- Time To Fly
- Hey Mike! (Conversation With A Guitar)
- Jam House Blues
- In Belgian Rain
- Glad You Were Here