GAMBIER — Power-pop music for children and families comes to Kenyon College when Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players perform a free concert on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Roberts, a 1992 Kenyon alumnus, is a leading performer in the kiddie-rock genre and his album Jungle Gym earned a 2011 Grammy Award nomination. The Not Ready for Naptime Players will perform as a trio in the Bolton Theater, 205 College-Park St. The trio includes Liam Ross, a 1990 Kenyon alumnus.
The band returns for a Kenyon Reunion Weekend show, and they will greet fans at the Kenyon College Bookstore, 105 Gaskin Ave., on Friday at 4 p.m. The weekend’s activities also include a visit by Wild Wonders from the Columbus Zoo on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Bolton Theater. The zoo will bring a number of animals for an up-close visit. All of the events are free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Music for children, a staple for decades, has “really exploded” in recent years, Roberts said. “When people ask what I do I say, ‘I’ve been doing a kind of melodic power pop with lyrics about childhood experiences.’” His musical heroes include Brian Wilson and Nick Lowe – “great melodies and great hooks.” His music career started at Kenyon with the indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. Roberts went on to work in a Minneapolis preschool. He later earned a master’s in religious studies at the University of Chicago.
Roberts, based in Evanston, Ill., is working on a new album of lullabies. The band, in its five-piece configuration, will perform in Central Park in New York City this summer.
To learn more about the concert and the zoo animals, call 740-427-5147.
Published on May 22, 2012