Shoreline Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services opens its annual noon Lunchtime concert series July 7 with local children’s music group Recess Monkey, at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
Vocalist/guitarist Andrew “Drew” Holloway, drummer/percussionist Daron “The Dancing Bear” Henry, and bassist/pianist Jack Forman met while on the faculty of the University Child Development School in Seattle. The trio worked through a series of other bands while punching the clock as kindergarten teachers by day.
“I can’t tell you how many times we played a show that got me home at 3 a.m.,” said Forman, “just in time to jump into math the next morning.”
Realizing that a better mix was needed, Forman and his musical partners built on experience garnered from performing for students in an all-faculty band at UCDS and began recording. Soon Recess Monkey was born.
“We were itching to share our musicality with the kids that we teach,” Forman explains, “and this seemed like a great way to do it!”
‘Welcome to Monkey Town’ (2005) was followed in 2006 by ‘Aminal House’ (not a typo) and last year’s double CD release, ‘Wonderstuff.’ Now the group is preparing to release their newest album, ‘Tabby Road.’
To connect with their audiences, Recess Monkey not only invites kids to sing along but often brings them into the studio, encouraging them to interact and even inspire the band’s musical creations. Both ‘Aminal House’ and ‘Wonderstuff,’ were conceived as joint projects with the more than 200 students who attended Recess Monkey rock ‘n’ roll summer camps in 2006 and 2007.
Musically, Recess Monkey evokes the sounds of the three B’s, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Byrds.