So there I was// Bookhouse Trio

So there I was. . . Barbette, (likely): Glass of wine, (likely): in conversation with my collaborators (likely, in this case SuperGroup) and there was live music (also likely, in this case people I didn’t know, but have heard their names. )

Great sentence btws. I nearly write for a living and that is the best that I can come up with as exposition.

So, I’m sititng there in conversation and I hear. . . a clarinet? Wait, what?! Never, oh Ever have I been so excited to hear such glorious wind being tossed over reed. Paul Fonfara (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet), Chris Hepola (Drums) and Josh Granowski (Bass) comprise what is known as the Bookhouse Trio. I stopped talking (which is difficult for me to do) and made the side comment, “Huh, Monk’s Epistrophy!”. It was as though I had tripped on a diamond.


“Bookhouse started as a instrumental/jazz side project from a band called Painted Saints, which is Fonfara’s group where he  is singer/songwriter/coordinator. We play in many groups separately as well. We started out playing more standard jazz material with Bookhouse at first, eventually arranging themes from Twin Peaks as I got into the tv show.  We are also really into Thelonious Monk, as we play many of his tunes, as well as arrangements of portishead, fela kuti, and popular themes from the movies,  like ‘rosemary’s baby’ and ‘midnight cowboy’.We are finishing up recording our renditions of Twin Peaks material next  month, with tentative plans to press a small run and make a release show out of it, maybe as early as the fall if we’re lucky.”

This is pleasing music to 2speakease’s ear and if I’m lucky enough to be kept in the loop of upcoming shows I’ll be sure to post it.


whoa, whoa, whoa. . . upcoming @AtlantisQuartet live recording session

Some of my favorite people/musicians in the WORLD have an upcoming live recording at the Artists’ Quarter in May!

The Atlantis Quartet

Friday, May 6, Saturday, May 7, Atlantis Quartet Live Recording (9pm $10)

See past posts. You should know these guys: Zacc Harris-guitar, Chris Bates-bass, Brandon Wozniak-saxaphones and Pete “The Boss” Hennig-drums.

I’ve been talking about them since last year. Each of these musicians are distinguished players you’ve seen around town. Their CD Animal Progress is not fucking around. {I voted it my favorite CD in the 2speakease awards (s/o to ALPHA Consumer  who got number 2) }. Atlantis was just voted TC best Jazz Artist by the City Pages . . . after a long standing run at epic rock venue The Turf Club’s Clown Lounge- basically running shit, a recent 6 night- mulitiple city tour (or two or three for the different members inc. Wozniak’s stint with Dave King Trucking Company and Bates’ tour with Todd Clouser’s a Love Electric) they’ve returned home and are ready to dazzle Minneapolis audiences at the unarguably best Jazz spot around town.

If you want real jazz, community with a splash of class.  . . This the joint.




Dear Daughter, Set C

My show, Dear Daughter is part of Bedlam Theater’s 10x10fest, a ten minute community play festival that will be up this spring: May 11-15 on the Northside at the Capri Theater.


“I have begun this letter five times and torn it up five times. I keep seeing your face.”

Sourced text, personal narrative, and an invented gestural language are used to explore adoption.





“Journey” a play by Mohammad B. Ghaffari

Cellist Cory Grossman is participating in this incredibly interesting show coming up soon:



A Play by Mohammad B. Ghaffari


The World Premiere of “Journey” a play by Mohammad B. Ghaffari, featuring Edward Bruno Oroyan and Anika Reitman. Presented by the Religious Studies Program at the University of Minnesota and The National Endowment of the Humanities.

“Journey”, a retelling of the 12th-century Arabic fable HAYY IBN YAQZAN, is the story of a parentless boy who is raised in the wild by a doe. The death of his doe mother sends the boy on a voyage of philosophical inquiry and self-discovery.

Thurs. February 24 – Sat. February 26, 8:00 pm
Rarig Center, 330 21st Ave S.
University of Minnesota West Bank
U of M performances are free; reservations recommended at

March 3 – 13
Thurs., Fri., Sat at 7:30 p.m.
Sun. at 2:00 p.m.
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S
Tickets: $10 – $20, 612-874-0400


Also Check Out:


IDRIS GOODWIN author of These Are The Breaks

Lisa Brimmer Ed Bok Lee and Guante

Thursday, March 3 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Location At the Loft, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Open Book

Created By

More Info

Equilibrium: Spoken Word at the Loft is proud to present:
Idris Goodwin, author of These Are The Breaks
With Lisa Brimmer, Ed Bok Lee, and Guante
Book release performance and celebration
Thursday, March 3, 7 p.m.
At the Loft, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Open Book
Free and open to the public
Co-sponsored by the Givens Foundation for African American Literature

IDRIS GOODWIN is an award-winning playwright, poet, essayist and performer who uses hip hop arts to create original genre defying performances. His widely produced works have been supported by the The National Endowment for the Arts, The Ford Foundation, The National New Plays Network, The Hip Hop Theater Festival and The Illinois Arts Council. What Is They Feedin’ Our Kids?, Idris’ most popular spoken word poem, aired on HBO’s Def Poetry and The Discovery Channel’s Planet Green. Break Beat Poems, his latest hip-hop album, earned praise from The New York Times and National Public Radio and These Are The Breaks, his debut collection of prose, was nominated for a Pushcart Award. Year round, Idris can be found at colleges, K-12 schools, and community organizations across the country promoting cross-cultural literacy and social awareness.

Join us for this special Minneapolis book release for These Are The Breaks. Joining Idris will be special local opening poets Guante, Lisa Brimmer, and Ed Bok Lee.

idris goodwin

Kyle “Guante” Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre is a hip hop artist, spoken-word poet, activist, writer and educator based in Minneapolis, MN. He’s been grand poetry slam champion of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Madison, and is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion (2009 and 2010, St. Paul team).


ED BOK LEE is the author of Real Karaoke People, winner of a PEN Open Book Award. He was raised in South Korea, North Dakota and Minnesota, studied literatures and languages in the U.S., South Korea, Kazakhstan and Russia, and holds an MFA from Brown University. Other awards include an Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice), a Many Voices Prize, an Urban Griots Best Book Award, and grants from such foundations as the McKnight, Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome and National Endowment for the Arts. A former bartender, phys ed instructor, custodian, journalist and translator in over a dozen U.S. states and abroad, Lee has shared his poems across the U.S., Europe and Asia, as well as on public radio and TV, including MTV.

His second book of poems will be published by Coffee House Press in Fall 2011.


Lisa Brimmer is a writer living in Minneapolis. A poet, she has attended the Juniper Institute at U Mass Amherst, in 2009 she was a fellow through the Givens Foundation for African American Literature and in 2010 she received a Many Voices Fellowship from the Playwrights’ center. She works in collaboration with local avant-garde jazz quartet Lulu’s Playground and has performed her poetry in venues across the Twin Cities. Brimmer is also contributing editor for an online jazz magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Konch Magazine and the Summit Avenue. Follow her on twitter @2speakease.



Another day, another dollar.


I’ve been gone for quite a while. Here’s my monthly teaser:

1. a few show reviews (probably my last formal ones.

2. a few upcoming interviews- probably spring. . .

3. Clown Lounge retrospective. Good-bye letter.

and much, much more.



Also I’ve begun to include pictures- I think it may become a thing. This way my mother cannot complain about me being gone so long she no longer recognizes me. Plus I get to use my camera on my computer which makes me feel technologically advanced.

Workhaus Collective presents CHIMERA

Workhaus Collective, an eclectic mix of nationally acclaimed theater artists and writers that hold residence in the Twin Cities is presenting CHIMERA a work co-created by Deborah Stein and Suli-Holum.

November 13 at 8:00pm – November 21 at 8:00pm

Location The Playwrights’ Center 

2301 Franklin Ave. East

Created By

More Info What happens when you discover that you’re not who you thought you were? 

Welcome to the world of Jennifer Samuels, who has just discovered that she is her own twin.

Inspired by a real-life horror story, CHIMERA takes you on a journey from the frontiers of modern science to the seeds of ancient mythology as co-creators Deborah Stein and Suli Holum explore what happens when technology shatters our ideas of who we think we are.

Created in collaboration with Jeremy Wilhelm, Paulina Jurzec, Zach Humes, James Clotfelter and Tara Webb.

Stage Managed by Jenny Moeller

Saturday November 13
Sunday November 14
Friday November 19
Saturday November 20
Sunday November 21


For tickets:
Go to
Or call 1-800-838-3006

More info at

Photo Credits: 1. From Left: Trista Baldwin, Deborah Stein, Dominic Orlando.

— @2speakease


(The following was lifted from a Facebook Invite for Workhaus’ Chimera)

Marion Mcclinton on Workhaus Collective and American Theater:


“I believe the future importance of the American theater is theater companies like the Workhaus Collective. A theater run by and for playwrights is vital for the future to be born in the present. Too many of the LORT/TCG theaters are becoming corporations, training grounds for future business executives but a burial ground for the passions and dreams of artists. Too much political compromise and not enough artistic verve. The theater is always and must always evolve, in infinite revolution. A marriage between Charles Darwin and Che Guevera. Workhaus Collective is among the first shots across the bough.”

—-Marion Mcclinton, 2010



two things

Cafe Maude is my new favorite thing in the world. After an incredible dinner there last week, seeing that the Zacc Harris Quartet, James Buckley Trio, Firebell and Enormous Quartet, and my most recent awareness of their late night happy hour. I have to give them a plug and shout out on my webspace.

Second thing: upcoming review of Douglas Kearney‘s EQ show at the Loft Literary Center for Jassed. com  As a poet I have to give him a solid 10 out of 10. Brother sold me. I’m also giving him a hook up/link on my blog.

Any friend of Bao Phi’s is a friend of mine.


Ooh La La ARTENBRU: Let the hops fly and the ink dry. . .



Saint Paul’s Black Dog Cafe hosts yet another wonderful thing on Friday nights. In the stead of Free Jazz Mega Players (emphasis mine) the Fantastic Merlins, my good friend Nick Rudie and his constituents have planned an evening dedicated to MN Beer culture and art appreciation.

I’m on board.

This year’s ARTENBRU is the first of it’s kind Brewing and Graphic Design Shindig. Sponsored by some of MPLS/STP’s finest local breweries (612 Brew, Fulton, Surly, Northern Brewer), MN Beer,  Hop Head News and the Minneapolis Egoist. Homebrewers and designers were selected and teamed up to create an evening of hops and beauty.

There is a $7 cover that includes  4 oz. sampling of all featured homebrews, a souvenir imperial-sized pub glass, a voting BRUcard with bios and brewers notes and mad wild funk from a TBA local DJ/band. Prints and Pints are also available for purchase at the event and the Black Dog’s kitchen will be open for any hungry mugs (get it, beer-mugs. . .).  Anyhow. I hope to see you there.

Knowing the creators of this wonderful event allows me to have great faith in the success of the evenings festivities.



2.  Brumaster teams include:

Brewer Juno Choi + Designer Dan Kearney

Brewer Garth Blomberg + Designer Karl Engebretson

Brewer Stephen Perrier +  Designer Bryan Peiper

Brewers Tony Kutzke & Mike Walsh + Designer Nick Brue

Brewer Tim Sullivan + Designer Lucas Gluesenkamp

Brewer Nick Pederson + Designer Adam Hoganson

Brewer Steve Fletty + Designer Clint Lugert

Brewer Sean Kampshoff + Designer Andy Manthei

Brewer Kristen England + Designer Peet Fetsch

Brewer Curt Stock +Designer Bud Snead




  • All sampling and consumption of alcoholic beverages as part of ARTENBRU must take place inside Black Dog Cafe or on their patio. Each ot these areas will be clearly marked. Anyone found drinking outside of these areas will be asked to leave immediately.
  • Think before you drink. Pace yourself and make sure you have a designated driver lined up before you get to the event. This is a busy downtown area. Don’t drink and drive.
  • We reserve the right to remove anyone, at any time, interfering with the ability of others to enjoy the event. Be nice people.

STILL have Questions?– see the ARTENBRU site for more information and FAQs

TONIGHT: Hymas, Roessler and Hennig 9/4 8pm BlackDogCafeSTP

Dude, tonight is gonna be major. #get here. #wheremyjazzheads?

There is some buzz (thnx jazz police) about a very exciting and F to the REE show that is going on tonight at the Blackdog Cafe in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. I’ll be there- wouldn’t miss a chance to hear Pete “The Boss” Hennig or Brian Roessler play if I can EVER help it!!

Tonight they will be gigging with Tony Hymas on keys- BIG TIME.

More information about the Fantastic Merlins (in which Hennig and Roessler both participate) and their new disc “How the light gets in” —> HERE.

Hymas, currently of Paris, France-  is part of the jazz/free/rock/funk constellation: Ursus Minor.


IF you’re that way you can RSVP via the FACEBOOK INVITATION