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Release: Jan. 9, 2002

UI Museum of Arts opens spring 'Breath of Art' performance series Jan. 18

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "Breath of Art," a series of weekly events Friday evenings at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, will begin for the spring semester with a performance by the OddBar Trio, a combo of UI jazz studies faculty, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.

Admission is free to the museum and to all "Breath of Art" performances.

The series, a collaboration between the Museum and the Division of Performing Arts, is coordinated by the UI Arts Share program. Events on the series will include musical and dance performances, short plays and literary readings.

Museum of Art Director Howard Collinson said, "The museum is very pleased to offer a venue for presenting the literary and performing arts to the public. This is part of our wish to make the Museum of Art more accessible and more enjoyable to the public. We believe that having first-rate artistic presentations on Friday evening will enhance the experience of our visitors."

In addition to the Jan. 18 performance by OddBar, the "Breath of Art" schedule will include readings by UI Writers' Workshop students Jan. 25 and Feb. 15; a lecture/recital of songs by women composers performed by mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle and pianist Rose Chancler Feb. 1; short plays by students in the Playwrights Workshop of the department of theatre arts Feb. 8; and a performance by dancers from UI dance department Feb. 22.

Begun in 1996 as a trio, OddBar has been flexible enough to include various other players over the years, from three to as many as six. In addition to its unique instrumentation -- lacking a true bass instrument -- Oddbar is unusual in other ways. It is extremely eclectic, performing a wide variety of musical styles, while its name reflects the fact that it takes unexpected sounds into local clubs and bars.

They play original music from all members of the trio, as well as their own unique arrangements of traditional jazz standards.

Guitarist Steve Grismore was director of jazz studies at the UI 1990-93. He has also taught at Augustana College, Coe College, Cornell College, Central College and Iowa Wesleyan. He is a co-founder of the Iowa City Jazz Festival and was musical director of the festival for the past seven years.

Grismore has performed at clubs and jazz festivals around the country. He has played with many well-known jazz artists and been a part of several prominent local groups including Happy House, the Often Ensemble, the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz and the Grismore/Sizemore Band. Recently he traveled to Europe with the Orquesta Alto Maiz for performances at the Montreux and North Sea jazz festivals.

Brent Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty in 2000, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performer, teacher and clinician. Sandy performs regularly with local jazz groups including the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz and Equilateral. As a member of the Orquesta Alto Maiz and Oddbar he has made seven CDs, toured Europe in 1998 and twice been featured on "Jazzset with Branford Marsalis" on National Public Radio. He is an educational specialist/clinician and Conn Vintage One artist with United Musical Instruments, a division of United Musical Instruments, USA, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Jazz Festival.

Drummer/percussionist Jim Dreier is an instructor in the UI jazz studies program where he coaches small jazz ensembles and assists with the large format jazz groups. He teaches drumset and world percussion, and is founder and director of the Afro Cuban Drum Ensemble. As a member of the Orquesta de Alto Maiz he has performed throughout the Midwest and in Europe. He has studied percussion and drumming in Brazil and Cuba and has written articles for Percussive Notes.

The UI Arts Share program provides artistic resources from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools and community organizations. The 2000 Arts Share roster includes more than 70 faculty and graduate students in music, theater, dance, the visual arts and creative writing. Arts Share is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the Arts Share program, call director Diane Kenney Handler at (319) 335-1618 or send an e-mail to <>.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for public events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2001-02 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact < >.