From Scott Joplin and Chuck Berry to Tina Turner, Nelly and Wilco, St. Louis has long boasted a rich and widely influential musical scene.
This spring, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will launch a new concert series designed to highlight the talents and diversity of contemporary St. Louis musicians. The free Friday evening concerts — titled “Kemper Presents” — will feature at the museum close to a dozen local artists working in a variety of genres, from ambient jazz and electronica to experimental rock and American roots music.
“The Kemper Presents series allows us to reach out to the local community in a new way while also supporting the St. Louis music scene,” said series organizer Kimberly Singer, the museum’s manager of marketing, visitor services and events.
Feb. 22: Mmmelt
Feb. 29: Zimbabwe Nkenya
March 7: Tonya Gilmore with special guest John McClellan
March 14: Rough Shop
March 21: Teddy Presberg with the Red Note Revivalists
March 28: Learn, Artist!
April 4: psychotronics
April 11: Brotha’ D. &
April 18: Final Veil
“We tried to enlist a real variety of musicians, genres and styles, so that there’s something for everyone,” Singer said. “Hopefully it will help both regular and new visitors start their weekend with a unique confluence of culture and entertainment.”
Concerts begins Feb. 22 with Mmmelt, which fuses ambient, punk, world beat, jazz, electronics, avant-garde and spoken word into an eclectic sonic landscape. The series continues Feb. 29 with Zimbabwe Nkenya, whose jazz stylings incorporate African, Cuban and European influences.
Indie singer-songwriters Tonya Gilmore and John McClellan will perform March 7, followed on March 14 by acoustic trio Rough Shop, winners of the Critics Choice for best Americana artist in the 2006 St. Louis Music Award.
National touring artist Teddy Presberg is joined by the Red Note Revivalists for an evening of improvisational acid-jazz March 21. The hypnotic jazz trio Learn, Artist! performs March 28.
The series continues April 4 with experimental rock four-piece psychotronics, followed by ‘rockn’jazzabluesabilly’ trio Brotha’ D. & the WOO-Daddies April 11.
Final Veil will conclude the series April 18 with a concert combining experimental, Middle Eastern-influenced electronic music with live bellydancing.
The Kemper Presents series is made possible with support from KDHX 88.1 FM, Riverfront Times and Sauce Magazine.
All concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 935-5490 or visit kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu.