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University of Iowa News Release


April 28, 2009

Trout Fishing in America is Hancher's 2009 'SPOT' attraction

Trout Fishing in America, the Grammy-nominated musical duo that is the 2009 attraction in "SPOT: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," will conclude an Iowa residency with a Mother's Day concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 10, in the auditorium of Iowa City West High School.

The concert will be preceded by a Mother's Day picnic on the West High green. The picnic, included in the price of the ticket, will begin at 12:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the picnic will move inside to the school cafeteria.

In addition to songwriting workshops in Iowa City elementary schools, the duo will offer two additional public events in the Iowa City/Coralville area on Saturday, May 9:

--A free story time and performance in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library at 10:30 a.m.

--An interactive performance at 2 p.m. in the Iowa Children's Museum, included in museum admission.

SPOT was launched in 2005 and for four years brought two groups of artists annually to four Iowa communities. The project has now entered a new phrase, with a single partnering community collaborating with Hancher each year. The 2009 SPOT partner is Algona, where Trout Fishing in America will be in residence May 4-6, concluding with a performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6, in the O.B. Laing Middle School Auditorium.

Guitarist Ezra Idlet and bassist Keith Grimwood have been entertaining families for 22 years as Trout Fishing in America (named after the novel by Richard Brautigan), with music that appeals to children and adults alike. Now, they lead Hancher's SPOT project into a new phase with a new community but the same commitment to bringing artists and families together.

National Public Radio's Kathy O'Connell chose Trout Fishing in America as the 2008 best of the year for kids' music. Listen to her report at

Grimwood (five feet five inches tall) is a veteran of the Houston Symphony, and become associated with Idlet (six feet nine inches tall) when they were members of the rock band St. Elmo's Fire. Their infectious mix of folk/pop and family music is tempered by the diverse influences of reggae, Latin, blues, jazz and classical music.

Their recordings -- on their own label -- have garnered three National Indie Awards and multiple Parents Choice Gold and American Library Awards as well as four Grammy nominations. Performing Songwriter Magazine named them one of the top 100 most influential independent artists of the last 15 years -- an honor they share with artists including Phish, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, Branford Marsalis and Jimmy Buffett.

In the past few years they have developed a variety of song writing workshops for teachers and students that illustrate how art and music come from the fabric of everyday life. And the workshops have enriched their repertoire with new songs created directly from their interaction with children.

Trout Fishing in America is supported by the Hancher Guild, Iowa House Hotel, Scheels All Sports and the Wallace Foundation Fund. The picnic is supported by Hy-Vee Food Store, Iowa City, Waterfront Drive.

Tickets for the Algona performance -- $5 for individuals or $10 for families - are available at the Algona YMCA (515)295-7701. The Algona residency is presented by the Haggard-Twogood Trust and the Algona Y-Pals. Learn more at

Tickets for the Iowa City performance are $25; UI student $15; senior citizen $22.50; youth $12.50.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

To order tickets online visit http://

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jessica Netolicky, Hancher, 319-335-0009,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell), 319-338-4274 (home),