Local musicians take stage at Kemper

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will launch its spring 2009 concert series, “Kemper Presents,” at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 with Theodore, a foursome that creates a rootsy, familiar yet completely fresh sound with instruments as diverse as the trombone, glockenspiel, accordion and lap steel guitar.

Designed to highlight the talents and diversity of contemporary St. Louis musicians, the series will feature local artists working in a variety of genres from ambient jazz and soul to punk rock and American roots music.

“We hosted our first Kemper Presents series in spring 2008 and received tremendous community response,” said Kimberly Singer, manager of marketing, visitor services and events for the Kemper museum. “We are hoping for a second smashing success.”

The series continues March 6 with Mmmelt, which fuses ambient, punk, world beat, jazz, electronics, avant-garde and spoken word into an eclectic, sonic landscape.

A Bit Shifty, a male-female duo combining vocals, guitar and drum, will perform March 13, followed by singer-songwriter Tonya Gilmore, whose voice and haunting lyrics will mesh with keys, guitar and cello on March 20.

On March 27, Brothers Lazaroff take the stage with a diverse lineup of musicians who offer soulful roots music. Illphonics follows on April 3 with a mix of hip-hop, rock and blues.

The series continues April 10 with FIRE DOG, an indie pop trio with a catchy sound. A night of punk rock on April 17 features two bands: the 75s and Left Arm. The 75s play pop with a “girlie twist,” while Left Arm garage-band musicians produce tight, gritty riffs.

Brotha’ D & the WOO-Daddies will conclude the series April 24 with their distinctive, self-described sound: “Rockabluesabilly with a twist of swing.”

The museum will partner with LiveFeed throughout the series. Patrons are asked to bring unopened jars of peanut butter and jelly that will be donated to LiveFeed partner City Faces, which provides arts education to underserved populations.

All concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served.