Original tunes celebrate children’s perspective, home, and hearth
Three-time Grammy-nominated Justin Roberts, one of the all-stars of the independent family music scene, performs the Presenting Series’ first family show and the only children’s concert of the season on Saturday, November 17 at 11 a.m. The set list includes Roberts’s acclaimed alt-rock take on songs from his 2016 release, Lemonade, and classics like “Stay at Home Dad” from his nearly 20 years of crafting songs for families that navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up.
Roberts has traveled the globe with his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players and, with 13 albums to his credit, is in the process of becoming a multiple Parents’ Choice Award-winner. Lemonade is the musical equivalent of an “impromptu lemonade stand popping up in the summer heat,” a prospect to warm up family fun on a blustery fall day. The concert with band members Liam Davis, Gerald Dowd, Jackie Schimmel, and Dave Winer showcases polished acoustic music, humor, and fist-pumping fun.
Roberts began his music career in the 1990s, performing in the Minneapolis-based indie-folk band Pimentos for Gus. While a Montessori preschool teacher, Roberts started writing and singing songs for his students. Inspired by the ensuing response to his self-released music, Roberts released his first CD, Great Big Sun, in 1997 and the critics took note. His music drew comparisons to everyone from Elvis Costello and Fountains of Wayne to Paul Simon and Nick Lowe. Within a few years, Roberts was touring full-time doing what he loves most: playing music for appreciative crowds. Kiddie mosh pits broke out, word spread, and tours grew a devoted fan base.
Justin has performed on The Today Show, Nick Jr., and his song “Get Me Some Glasses” was featured on a World Series broadcast. He’s received three Grammy nominations, for Jungle Gym in 2011, Recess in 2013, and Lemonade in 2018. Recent appearances include performances at New York City’s New Victory Theater, Washington, D.C.’s Wolf Trap, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.