3/29 | Evil Genius (LA) w Stray Passage @ Art In

Wed, 3/29 | $8 doors 730p  / music 800p @ Art In

1444 E Wash Ave., Madison, WI 53703

EVIL GENIUS (LA) – tuba, guitar, drums

Brennan Connors & Stray Passage

Join us for an evening of Jazz Trios at Art In’s spacious gallery!

Evil Genius (Portland/Los Angeles) is a forward-marching experimental jazz trio formed in 2012. The band is made up of Max Kutner on guitars (Grandmothers of Invention, Magic Band, Alphonso Johnson), Stefan Kac on tuba (Milo Fine, Jon Armstong, Hammerstein) and Michael “Bonepocket” Lockwood on drums and percussion (Atomic Ape, Deradoorian, Matt Kivel). The band’s unique sound has drawn comparisons to groups as wide-ranging as the Minutemen, This Heat and Captain Beefheart to jazz figures like John McLaughlin, Steve Lacy, Henry Threadgill and many more. They have received acclaim from the New York City Jazz Record, Bad Alchemy, Los Angeles Jazz Station, Downtown Music Gallery, El Intruso and more. In the words of Larry Koonse, “this band can do it all–whether its in your face rock, free wheeling open improvisation, 20th century classical music, or jazz–they can pull it off and upend all of your expectations.” Their debut album, “Bitter Human” was released in late 2015 and available through Orenda Records in Los Angeles.


You have arrived at the spontaneous soundscapes of Evil Genius, just on the cusp of this dimension of sound and waiting to transcend to another. Sign in here.

Now you may enter. There’s no need to take off your jacket. Take a seat. Here, sip this iced tea. Or would you like a soda? No, there are no soy lattes. Don’t be ridiculous!

Now drink – it will calm your nerves.

You are now ready to begin.

You are now a participant in the experience. A series of experiments. Each experiment will uncover a new layer of understanding, a new level of intrigue.

It may vary for you depending on you – are you cautious? Are you adventurous?

Only time will tell.

We hope you enjoy your stay…

(excerpt from the liner notes by Angela Allan)

5/5 | Audio for the Arts presents: HANGING HEARTS punk/jazz trio (Chi)


This April, I had the fortunate luck of catching a thrilling late night set from Hanging Hearts punk/jazz trio in Detroit. Ben Willis and I were performing on a different side of town & stopped by afterwards to catch one of our favorite drummers, one of Wisconsin’s best, Devin Drobka. Devin, Chris & Cole of Hanging Hearts brought the house down with incredible energy, driving compositions, and excellent group communication. Even after a quite robust set, people were hungry for more. This in-studio concert will help Hanging Hearts prepare to go back into the studio this June to record their next album, produced by drummer Dave King of The Bad Plus.

Thr, 5/5 |  @ Audio for the Arts Studios
7 S. Blair St., Madison, WI
$10  Doors at 7:30p  /  Music at 8p

Recording Engineer & Host – Steve Gotcher

Chris Weller – tenor saxophone
Cole DeGenova – keyboards/effects
Devin Drobka – drums/percussion

Hanging Hearts is a Chicago-based jazz trio with rock energy dedicated to the fearless exploration of group improvisation. Described by critics as “hammering the walls between genres,” their music bridges the gap between jazz, rock, and experimental music. The band features Chris Weller on tenor saxophone, Cole DeGenova on keyboards, and Devin Drobka on drums. While Chris and Cole grew up in Chicago, playing professionally in jazz and blues clubs by the age of 15, the trio was completed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where all three members graduated. The trio’s repertoire consists of their original compositions and free improvisations.

Members of the group have performed around the world and shared the stage with Joe Lovano, Jerry Bergonzi, Greg Osby, Tony Malaby, Tower of Power, Lettuce, Kurt Elling, Snarky Puppy, Lupe Fiasco, Greg Ward, Tim Daisy, and Dave Rempis, among others. Notable performances as a band include the Jazzinec Festival in Czech Republic and Nádasdy Castle in Sárvár, Hungary. Though they have been playing together for years, the group released their debut album in October ’14, with supporting US shows and European tour (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, & Romania).


3/18, 3/19 | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage record live album @ Audio For The Arts

AFA 20.PNGGrimmusiK logo

Brennan Connors & Stray Passage
@ Audio For The Arts Studios

March 18th & 19th, 2016
$10 cover, doors at 7:30pm
7 S Blair St # 1, Madison, WI 53703

“Their sets embrace plenty of sinuous melody and conversational interplay,
but can just as easily dive into minimalism and dissonance.” ~ Tone Madison

Brennan Connors & Stray PAssage

Experimental Jazz Trio Brennan Connors & Stray Passage has been performing in Madison for over three years, exciting listeners with their range of sonic capabilities.  Their improvised music is directly linked to the atmosphere in the room and energy of the audience.  Being that the listener is such a crucial element in shaping the band’s sound, it is only fitting that this album should be recorded in front of a live in-studio audience.  Attendees will experience a jazz trio that embraces free and structured improvisation, original compositions, groove based experiments, and sound exploration. The breadth of a performance ranges from focused minimalism to fiery high energy music, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay.

The group is led by Brennan Connors on tenor and soprano saxophones.  Geoff Brady provides orchestrated drum and percussion textures & Brian Grimm who rounds out the trio playing cello, contra-cello, and electric bass. On Friday, March 18th & 19th (Fri, Sat) – the trio will record two, live-concert performances which are open to the public.  The sessions will be hosted & recorded by master engineer Steve Gotcher at Audio for the Arts on 7 South Blair Street in Madison WI.  Stray Passage would be honored by the presence of anyone who wishes to experience the recording process.

Brennan Connors & Stray Passage
facebook event page
facebook band page


7/30 | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage @ The Mason Lounge

Thr, 7/30 | 8:30pm $0 @ The Mason Lounge


For those of you who follow along with GrimmusiK (or have looked at the shows page on this website) you’ll notice that I play bass every Tuesday night from 9p-12 at The Mason Lounge with the Five Points Jazz Collective.  The Mason Lounge is one of my favorite bars in Madison, WI.  Brian, the owner, serves 15-or-so carefully selected craft beers on tap which thoroughly range the palette.  Every Tuesday, I eagerly await a rundown on the new kegs that have been tapped.

This week, we’re happy to have a special trio night with Brennan Connors & Stray Passage!  “Brennan Connors & Stray Passage is bringing it’s unique blend of free jazz, improvised music, and original compositions to the Mason. Come join us for a night of dynamic music running the gamut from fiery high energy sounds to focused minimalism. Brennan Connors on saxophones; Brian Grimm on cello and bass; Geoff Brady on drums and percussion.”

See you there!

7/24 4pm | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage live on WSUM Radio 91.7fm!


Fri, 7/24 | 4pm on 91.7fm WSUM Radio

1 hour live special with


We’ll be spending the hour with DJ host Emili Earhart, who has graciously invited us to WSUM studios for a live-set + interview!  You can tune in on your radio by dialing in to 91.7fm (in the Madison area) or remotely from WSUM’s home page!

Tune In!

See ya on the other side….



6/19, 6/21, 6/29 | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage upcoming shows!

Fri, 6/19  |  10pm  $0  @ Mickey’s Tavern

1524 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703



We’ve got some shows coming up in June. Well be performing at Mickey’s Tavern on Friday 6/19 with Peterson/Packard/Lundberg, a trio featuring Tar Pet, Rob Lundberg, and Chicago based drummer Ryan Packard.

Rob Lundberg’s NYC based band JOBS has a killer album coming out next week on New Amsterdam Records.  Order your copy in advance!!

MMM_2015_web_headerSun, 6/21  |  2pm  $0  @ Chocolaterian Cafe on Schenk’s Corners



Make Music Madison is an annual one-day citywide, free, outdoor day of music to be held on the Summer Solstice, June 21. The goal is to generate a continuous wall of music as people walk around participating spaces. “Music” is whatever live sound an individual or group wishes to produce, and whatever the hosting space accepts. The day will be inclusionary in terms of genres, ethnicities, styles of music, skill levels of musicians, and in the use of public and private spaces throughout our community. There now are over 700 communities around the world celebrating the Summer Solstice by filling their city with music.

What is Make Music Madison?

  • Make Music Madison is: Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone
  • A way for all Madisonians to celebrate the summer solstice, enjoying the longest day of the year, while sampling a buffet of musical merriment.
  • A DIY city-wide celebration when almost any way to make music can and will happen.
  • Make Music Madison is open to music makers of all ages, skill levels, and musical persuasions.

When and where will Make Music Madison take place?

Make Music Madison will take place on the summer solstice, Sunday, June 21, 2015.

Some performances may start early or go late, or take advantage of natural commuter times, but public spaces throughout Madison — sidewalks, parks, and more — become impromptu musical stages, dance floors, and social meeting points. Last year we saw oodles of amateur musicians and every ilk of professional musician to pop up all over Madison to perform for new audiences and neighbors alike, and the 2015 listings are amazing.

Mon, 6/29  |  9pm  $5  @ The Vault 

Ask A Punk.  Madison, WI

PWRRTLZ [Tucson, AZ]


Black Metal + Free-Jazz show…. Hell Yeah!!

We’re really looking forward to hearing this band live

<< Just listen for yourself. >>