Dave Caserio

From left, Parker Brown, Krista Leigh Pasini and Dave Caserio perform in 2016. Caserio and Brown are headlining a poetry jam Friday night.

Ted Kim

Poets and instrumentalists from across Montana are bringing a mix of spoken word and live music to downtown Billings on Friday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. for the Dreyfest Poetry Jam.

In a first for Craft Local, Billings’ newest art gallery and performance venue, local musicians join seasoned performance poets for a lively evening of collaboration, expression and good tunes. The event is part of the fifth annual Richard Dreyfest, Billings’ premier all-ages DIY music and arts festival.

“Imagine the excitement and energy of a poetry slam with an added rhythm and melody,” event organizer Pete Tolton said. “There’s a great interplay of sound, texture and voice unlike anything else.” Tolton and co-organizers James Hickman and Anna Paige have produced and performed spoken word events around Billings since 2011.

Longtime collaborators Dave Caserio and Parker Brown headline the event, with Caserio delivering animated verse accompanied by Brown on guitar and bass.

“I'm really interested in how sound moves through poetry,” Caserio said. “A poem can't literally get up and dance, yet it has something of a dance and music in it.”

Additional duo performances include Anna Paige with Matt Taggart, Nate Petterson with Josh Carter, and Pete Tolton with Carolyn Tolton. The event will also feature solo performances by Molly Ouellette, Cooper Malin, Kelly Mullins, John Christenson and Jawney Love.

Richard Dreyfest V spans the weekend of Aug. 11-12 with more than 60 musical acts, comedians, poets and visual artists at eight all-ages venues throughout downtown Billings. It is presented by Waste Division and the Beatnik City Council. For lineup information, artist interviews and tickets, visit waste-division.org/richarddreyfest/v.

Craft Local is at 2413 Montana Ave., the original home of the Yellowstone Hotel. The nonprofit art gallery and performance venue features Montana-made beer and wine, works by 20 visual artists, and air conditioning. Find more information at craftlocal.org or 406-702-1458.


Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.