A Q&A with Justin Roberts—and a Giveaway!

Acclaimed family musician and songwriter Justin Roberts, along with his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, will perform in Chicago on March 20.


Roberts sat down with Make it Better to talk about his upcoming concert as well as his recent trip to the Grammys where his album, “Jungle Gym,” was nominated for Best Musical Album for Children.

MIB: What was it like being nominated for a Grammy?
JR: It was an amazing and surreal experience for the whole band. We always hoped we’d get nominated, but it was hard to imagine it actually happening. It’s amazing to get such great support and feedback.

MIB: Besides attending the awards ceremony, did you get to do anything else while you were in L.A.?
JR: We performed at a benefit concert for The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which is dedicated to providing musical instruments to under-funded music programs in schools and communities. The concert was a blast and included performances from other Grammy nominees as well.

MIB: We think of you as a “family musician” because both children and adults love your music equally. What is it about your music that transcends these boundaries?
JR: When I write songs, I often chose topics from my childhood that still resonate with me as an adult. For example, in “Jungle Gym,” the song “Never Getting Lost” is about a little boy getting lost in mall, which is something I used to think about as a kid. But at the end of the song, we find the mother felt just as lost, which is a feeling most parents can relate to and understand.

MIB: Tell us about your upcoming performances on March 20.
JR: We are doing two concerts at the Old Town School of Folk Music, which is one of our favorite venues in Chicago. The sound is great, there isn’t a bad seat in the house and the intimate setting makes us feel as if we are performing in someone’s living room.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players will perform at the Old Town School of Folk Music at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 20. For tickets, click here.

We are giving away a free autographed copy of “Jungle Gym.” To enter, leave a comment below this article telling us your favorite Justin Roberts song. Contest ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2011. Good luck!

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