Popular children’s music band has decades-long history in Del Mar

By Claire Harlin

If you happened to catch the Del Mar Independence Day Parade, hosted by the Del Mar Foundation, you might have heard the whimsical, folky tunes of local men Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer, who make up the popular kids’ music band “Hullabaloo.”

The duo recently released a new CD, “Raise a Ruckus,” and they have amassed a large national following (and even bigger local one), but their Del Mar beginnings date back three decades.

The two were best friends since their kindergarten year at Del Mar Heights Elementary School, and their musical bond began in 5th grade band class. Kremer played baritone and Denyes played the trombone, and in junior high the two opted for more “practical instruments,” Denyes said, which are still part of their lives — guitar and drums.

Denyes, still a resident of Del Mar, studied anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, but he has always pursued his passion: music. Never did he imagine a career writing and performing children’s songs, however, until he performed at Kremer’s twin daughters’ first birthday eight years ago.

“We were thinking it would be a one-time thing, but people loved it and wanted us to play at their kids’ parties,” said Denyes. “For me, it turned into a career after that.”

The name came from a favorite lyric from one of the band’s first songs, which went something like “skip to my loo, pigs in the bathtub, hullaballoo.”

“The name seems like a good way to describe how our music sounds,” said Denyes. “It means lively commotion. I’d like to think at our best that’s what we’re like.”

Kremer is an executive at UCSD Medical Center and can only perform at about 15 percent of Hullabaloo’s concerts. However, Denyes stays busy with upward of 300 performances a year. Civic events, public libraries and private parties are a few of the places you might find him on any day of the week.

The band has won eight major national awards and has been named in a number of publications, but he said the most fulfillment in his career has come from getting to write, record and play music almost daily.

“[The awards] are really great, but honestly for me the biggest thing is just having the ability to put on a show,” Denyes said.

For more information and a show line-up, visit