Justin Roberts
Sunday, Mar 3 2024, 3:00pm - 5:00pm SST. copy to my calendar, iCal export
Soka Performing Arts Center 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656, United States (map)

- Pre-show balloon twisting starts at 2:30pm -

Four-time GRAMMY Nominee Justin Roberts is one of the founders of the modern family music scene. For 25 years, Roberts has been creating the soundtrack to families’ lives, helping kids navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up, while inspiring parents to remember their own childhoods. His songs are the kind of get-stuck-in-your-head pop nuggets that draw comparisons to Elvis Costello, Fountains of Wayne, and Paul Simon rather than simple nursery rhymes, prompting USA Today to call him “hands-down the best songwriter in the genre. Along with his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, Justin has travelled the globe, from Hong Kong to New York, and Miami to Seattle.

His latest album, Space Cadet, is a return to his power pop all-ages sound. Heavily inspired by his life as a new dad, the feel-good album offers themes of inclusion and acceptance that wind through emotionally intelligent songs. Roberts creates a welcoming space for children to celebrate their uniqueness and dance it all out. Alongside his epic five-piece rock band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, Justin is joined by jazz horns, 80s synthesizers, soaring strings, harp, and plenty of hand clapping.

The birth of Roberts’ son Eli in 2018 inspired Wild Life, his GRAMMY nominated album of lullabies. With Space Cadet, Justin returns to the huge rock energy of his GRAMMY nominated albums, Jungle Gym and Recess. While still using his imagination and childhood memories, Roberts now weaves in first-hand parenting experience. Kitchen dance parties, fascinating fire trucks, and playground life have inspired these joyous and passionatenew songs.

Roberts began his musical career in the 1990s, performing in the Minneapolis-based indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. He decided to “moonlight” as a Montessori preschool teacher, and it wasn’t long before Justin started writing and singing songs for a new generation of fans: his students. The kids immediately responded and inspired Justin to record some of his new songs with college pal Liam Davis.

In 1997, Justin released his first album for families, Great Big Sun, and the critics took note. Justin’s music was soon being compared to everyone from Elvis Costello and Fountains of Wayne to Paul Simon, ELO and Nick Lowe. So, Justin hit the road full time to do what he loves most: playing music for appreciative crowds. Kiddie mosh pits broke out, word spread and shows started selling out.

Justin has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he’s been featured on Nick Jr. TV, and his song “Get Me Some Glasses” was on a World Series broadcast. He’s received four GRAMMY nominations, for Jungle Gym in 2010, Recess in 2013, Lemonade in 2017, and Wild Life in 2020.

Appearances include performances at NYC’s New Victory Theater, DC’s National Geographic Live, LA’s Getty Museum, Seattle’s Moore Theater, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Chicago’s Ravinia.

In addition to his recordings, Roberts is also the author of two acclaimed picture books: The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade (illustrated by Christian Robinson) and The Great Henry Hopen- dower (illustrated by Deborah Hocking), both published by Penguin Random House.