Swinging the clouds away: ‘Sesame Street’ and all that jazz

Swinging the clouds away: ‘Sesame Street’ and all that jazz

Before he became the first musical director of “Sesame Street,” Joe Raposo used to make ends meet by performing at jazz venues around Boston, accompanying on piano such legends as Ella Fitzgerald. When the children’s show went on the air in 1969, Raposo made sure the show offered a diverse mix of musical genres, reflecting the show’s overall theme of encouraging diversity. And the show enriched children’s lives with music they might not have heard anywhere else.

Raposo had a special proclivity for jazz—and that was apparent when he composed the instrumental version of the show’s theme song, “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?,” used for the closing credits.

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