Bainbridge writer Jonathan Evison says that kid-friendly band Recess Monkey is so good that “adults without children listen to them.” If you’re (a) one of those adults, (b) the other kind with kids, (c) perhaps a kid, or even (d) another type of primate, you’ll want to turn out with Evison for the Recess Monkey concert March 2 at Bainbridge High School Commons. The concert is a fundraiser for Island Cooperative Preschool, but even if you have no vested interest in ICP, here’s an opportunity to rock out with the three talented goofballs who make up the band.
Bainbridge Islander Korum Bischoff, who in a more serious guise is also the new Director of Communications and Events at The Bloedel Reserve, joined Recess Monkey guitarist/vocalist Drew Holloway and bassist/vocalist Jack Forman in November after the retirement of drummer Daron Henry. Bischoff previously played drums for a couple of years for Johnny Bregar, another local but nationally known kid music writer and performer.
The common thread uniting all Recess Monkey members is teaching. Bischoff has taught music in private classes on the Island since 1993 and also taught elective courses at Hyla Middle School. Forman and Holloway met as elementary school teachers at University Child Development School in Seattle. Holloway still teaches there and is now the school’s music teacher, but Forman quit teaching over a year ago to manage the band and work as the afternoon drive-time D.J. on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live. They’re also united in their appreciation for a wide range of musicians appealing to grownups; Bischoff cites as common influences performers including The Beatles, XTC, Beach Boys, Elvis Costello, Spoon, Beastie Boys, James Brown, and Radiohead.
At the concert, Recess Monkey is likely to play favorites like Popcorn, Jetpack, and Dancin’ Bear from their last album, the circus-themed In Tents. Bischoff, who is the former graphic designer and marketing manager for Teatro ZinZanni, learned that Recess Monkey was working on a circus-themed album so he approached the TZ team with the idea of a collaboration. Together they developed the idea of a Recess Monkey show featuring a script written around their songs. Bischoff says that TZ had some guiding input into the Recess Monkey CD, and Recess Monkey had input on the show’s production.
The entire show is available for free online on the Recess Monkey website and on TZ’s YouTube channels. Along with the album, Recess Monkey produced a book that more or less ties the songs together in an illustrated story, viewable from the RM website.
Bischoff had the fun of playing the drumming bear in the show. He says, “We all got to be great pals by the end, so when Daron announced that he was ready to move on, I was practically part of the band already.”
The concert starts at 10:30 a.m. and goes to 11:30. Doors open at 10:00. Get there no later than that since last year’s concert sold out after 400 people showed up. Refreshments will be provided to hydrate and energize for dance- and sing-along.
Tickets are $7 per person in advance or $10 at the door. Babes in arms or Bjorns are free. You can purchase your tickets in advance at Lollipops Children’s Boutique, 278 Winslow Way E, or Bon Bon Candies, 123 Bjune Dr SE #103. Call the school at (206) 842-3013 for more information.
Check out the Recess Monkey Popcorn video:
Photos courtesy of Recess Monkey and ICP. Featured photo shows Bischoff, Holloway, and Forman.