Laughing Pizza

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Laughing Pizza is a family band who write and perform all original pop-music for families. Their music videos can be seen every day in over 18 million homes on PBS stations and TV On-Demand around the United States. This mom, dad, and daughter trio travel across the United States performing at theatres, museums, music festivals, nightclubs, schools, and other venues – including the White House (twice, including with Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers). Laughing Pizza has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and FoxTV, as well as in Money Magazine,[1] The New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Star Magazine, and the Huffington Post among others. They are the proud recipients of 7 Parents' Choice Awards, and their new one hour docu-concert, "Laughing Pizza LIVE" has thus far received a NAPPA award, as well as 5 Dove Awards and raving reviews from the Parents' Television Council.

Lisa Michaelis and Billy Schlosser (the mom and dad) are both classically trained musicians and former music teachers with a history of success in the grown-up music business – including a #1 Billboard Dance Hit[2] and a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. Emily, their 16-year-old daughter, plays multiple instruments including flute, drums, guitar, piano, and bass – and co-writes all of the Laughing Pizza songs with her parents – all while attending school online and crafting the new Laughing Pizza clothing line!

Laughing Pizza has released two DVDs and 5 CDs on their label “Little Bean Family Entertainment” and are the proud recipients of seven Parents’ Choice Awards. Their song “On My Way” was chosen by Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton (who co-wrote the lyrics) to be featured in the beautiful new book “Julie Andrews Collection of Songs, Poems, and Lullabies” (Little/Brown). Their live performances are energetic, interactive, dance-filled shows that get kids and parents up and moving, and have created a loyal following across the country.

Background[edit]

Before Laughing Pizza, Billy and Lisa both started performing in indie bands such as Strap d’etr0, Hot Boxes of Truth, Shade, and later wrote and recorded a #1 Dance single in 1992 (Rainfalls,[3] produced by Frankie Knuckles on Virgin records). Four years of being songwriters with Warner/Chappell and songs for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the TV show “Big Bag”, plus a math CD that is used in schools in several states, steered them toward writing for kids. Shortly after daughter Emily was born, Billy and Lisa quit the music business and moved from their native New York to Atlanta and Billy became an Executive at IBM and went on to manage global accounts at the tech consulting company, Sapient.

On Tuesday morning September 11, 2001, Billy was on a flight to Boston for one of his frequent business trips. This experience changed their lives as Billy was trapped in Boston for a week and was finally able to drive the 25 hours back to Atlanta to be with his family. Billy and Lisa decided they should find a way to spend time as a family, while doing what they enjoyed most –making music together – and Laughing Pizza was created. Laughing Pizza started as a self-funded project on their home grown label called “Little Bean Family Entertainment” and released two CDs and two DVDs (every one of which earned them Parents’ Choice Awards). In 2006, Sony entered into a joint venture to release and distribute Laughing Pizza on Epic Records and Sony Wonder,[4] their kids label. Unfortunately, 6 months after the deal was signed, Sony Wonder folded and Laughing Pizza was left on a rock label with the likes of Good Charlotte, J-Lo, Shakira, Sean Kingston, and Celine Dion. Both parties decided to end the joint venture in 2008 so that Laughing Pizza could continue on their musical journey under their kids label, which was reincarnated as Little Bean. The next year was spent performing, writing, and doing the leg work to get their music videos onto many PBS stations nationwide including GPB (all of Georgia); Columbus, OH; New York, San Diego, CA; Idaho; Louisiana; and Philadelphia, PA.

Music[edit]

2010 brought the release of their new CD “Let’s Go Play!”, a DVD “It’s Pizza Time!” and a new tour, which was supported by Little Bean. In 2011, Laughing Pizza filmed a one-hour concert, which was made to be a TV special and aired as a Pledge special in June 2012 on PBS. It got one of the highest ratings ever recorded for the family portion of Pledge - second only to Sesame Street. In keeping with the family-feeling of the event, shot at the Scholastic Theatre in New York City, the band was joined by hosts, celebrity Chef Todd English and his teenage son, Simon. The show also features dancers from the kid and teen program at the acclaimed Broadway Dance Center and a string trio from Juilliard.

This filmed concert was released by Laughing Pizza on May 8, 2012 (available now on On-Demand and on iTunes) as a special two-disk set on DVD and CD and includes the concert, the music from the concert, some brand new, recorded songs, and bonus features. More than just a concert special, this program gives the viewer an inside look into the lives of this unique family as they tell their story in words and music.

The Together Fund[edit]

Laughing Pizza also has a not-for-profit foundation, TogetherFund.org, to provide free arts programs for schools including access to songs that would educate, inspire and teach kids to give back to their community, and to encourage families to engage in activities together. They print all their CDs and DVDs on recycled board and paper – working toward a plastic and toxin free product line.

References[edit]

Money Magazine 4/1/05 http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2005/04/01/8254983/ CBS News 11/16/06 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-slice-of-laughing-pizza/ The Augusta Chronicle 2/21/12 http://chronicle.augusta.com/things-do/applause/2012-02-21/laughing-pizza-band-creates-music-adults-want-share-their-children Sag Harbor Express 8/7/10 http://sagharboronline.com/sagharborexpress/arts/laughing-pizza-rockin-for-the-kids-8815 Columbus Parent 8/2009 http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2009/08/07/laughingpizza.html Billboard Magazine Biz 6/8/06 http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/1353480/epic-records-sony-wonder-sign-pizza-deal Connect Savannah 8/23/11 http://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/family-concerns/Content?oid=2135494 Georgia Music Magazine 2013 http://georgiamusicmag.com/youve-gotta-be-kidding-me/