Family-friendly fun for kids of all ages arrives on the Presenting Series in the form of popular “kindie” rock band, Recess Monkey. These merry music makers are a trio of teachers—yes, teachers—who bring a unique perspective to making and performing intelligent, humorous, and original music for kids and their adults.
Jack Forman, born in Bloomington to Indiana University alum parents said, “We all have elementary [school] backgrounds and have collectively taught every grade from pre-K through middle school.” That includes lead singer Drew Holloway, currently an elementary school music specialist and drummer Korum Bischoff, a private drum teacher. “I left the classroom eight years ago but my radio show on SiriusXM “Live From the Monkey House,” feels very much like an enormous, hysterical classroom,” said Forman.
“We think of ourselves less as musical educators and more as a musical reminder of the joy of childhood both for kinds and the adults in our audiences.”
So how did a Hoosier with family scattered across the state in Columbus, Evansville, Newburgh, Westport, and more end up in the Pacific Northwest? “We left for Seattle when I was in elementary school,” Forman said, “but every time my feet hit a sidewalk in Indiana, I feel like I’m home.” And a special homecoming for Forman it is—while Recess Monkey tour routes have traversed the state, their October concert at Notre Dame is their first in the state.
The Grammy-nominated trio noted by Time Magazine as among Seattle’s “breakout stars,” write catchy songs like “Moustaches of the World” (“I’ve heard the ancient prophecy, that’s whispered in the secret places. About how all the moustaches, will be set free from all the faces.”) and “Digging a Hole” (“Tunneled down into a cavern. There was a crazy party there, with mastodons and dinosaurs and giant insects everywhere.”)
“We developed our voices, rapport, and understanding of childhood themes as classroom teachers. Now we get to use those skills to turn our music into a giant mirror that reflects universal themes of childhood back at the family that we play, for,” Forman said. “We think of ourselves less as musical educators and more as a musical reminder of the joy of childhood both for kinds and the adults in our audiences.”
If you and your kids aren’t already Monkeynauts, find out what’s so a-peeling about Recess Monkey by sampling cuts from albums like 2018’s Family Photo Album. Plus, SiriusXM subscribers can tune in to Forman’s live show on Channel 78, Kids Place Live where he mans the mic and turntable for his show. “I play great music for all ages and choose daily themes that tie kid ideas together with games, songs, and a lot of laughter.”
“We’ve been making music as Recess Monkey for 15 years now, and our success has really been driven by our excitement about childhood and how much fun it is to be on stage at these shows. We’ve played over 1,000 shows and made 14 albums, but most of it has felt like we were in the audience!”
Go bananas with Recess Monkey in concert on Saturday, October 26 at 11 a.m.