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Until a fire at Rasputin's Folk Café in Ottawa put an end to that small, but world-renowned establishment, Sjef Frenken could be seen and heard during most Wednesday-evening Open Stage sessions, where he took his turn singing and playing the piano, and from time to time read a poem or story, including his accounts of his 'Lunches with Jack' (which he still adds to and which can be read here).

For a year after the fire, the Open Stage sessions were continued in a song-circle fashion on Thursdays at the Canadian Legion on Kent Street in Ottawa.

Late in 2009, a group of folk-enthusiasts gathering under the umbrella name of THE SPIRIT OF RASPUTIN'S, made it possible for the Open Stage sessions to continue Monday evenings at the Elmdale House Tavern on Wellington Street in Ottawa.

In August of 2010, the SPIRIT OF RASPUTIN'S Monday Night Open Stage sessions moved to Whispers Pub and Eatery on Richmond Road (corner of Tweedsmuir), where Sjef Frenken is one of the hosts, and from time to time sings at the piano, or reads a poem or story.


25 April 2009


In the absence of the cancer-stricken Bob Froese, Frenken and Simmonds, assisted by bassist Doug Wicken, with guests Lorain Sine and Eric Pilgrim presented their fourth annual concert (their own songs in round-robin format) on 25 April 2009. at the Wellington Town Hall. This benefit performance gathered approximately $900 for the Wellington Public Library Landscaping Programme.

Bob Froese died two weeks later.

1 March 2008

David Simmonds, Bob Froese and Sjef Frenken at Rasputin’s Folk Cafe, 696 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa.

3 March 2007

Sjef Frenken teamed up with Bob Froese and David Simmonds for another SRO concert at Rasputin’s.

10 March 2006

Sjef Frenken, Bob Froese and David Simmonds teamed up for their first SRO concert at Rasputin’s

On 11 February 2005, Sjef Frenken, Missy Burgess and Alrick Huebener gave a sold-out concert at Rasputin’s.