Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to launch new Kemper Presents music series Feb. 22

Friday evening concerts to highlight St. Louis musicians

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 at Washington University 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 close to a dozen local artists working in a variety of genres, from ambient jazz and electronica to experimental rock and American roots music.

Tonya Gilmore
Tonya Gilmore

All concerts are free and open to the public and take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The Kemper Art Museum is located near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. For more information, call (314) 935-5490; visit; or email

“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,” says Kimberly Singer, the museum’s manager of marketing, visitor services and events, who organized the series.

“We tried to enlist a real variety of musicians, genres and styles, so that there’s something for everyone,” Singer adds. “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 by acoustic trio Rough Shop — winners of the Critics Choice for best Americana artist in the 2006 St. Louis Music Awards — March 14. 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, The Riverfront Times and Sauce Magazine.


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: The Brotha’ D. & the WOO-Daddies

April 18: Final Veil


WHO: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

WHAT: Kemper Presents concert series

WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays beginning Feb. 22 and through April 18.

WHERE: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, near the intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards

SPONSORS: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, KDHX 88.1 FM, The Riverfront Times and Sauce Magazine

COST: Free and open to the public

INFORMATION: (314) 935-4523 or