Justin Roberts and Inez Barlatier

  • 2251 George Flagg Pkwy | Des Moines, IA 50321
  • Presented By: Des Moines Performing Arts
  • Dates: August 27, 2022
  • Location: Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park
  • Start/End Time: 11:00 AM
  • Price: Join us for FREE performances each day in different outdoor parks around the Des Moines Metro. Presented in a different local park for each performance in partnership with the parks and recreation departments of Ankeny.
  • Overview
    Justin (acoustic guitar/vocals/songwriter) grew up in Des Moines, IA where he would wander aimlessly collecting autumn leaves on his way to school sometimes showing up very late for class. He was quickly dubbed the “absent minded professor” by his kindergarten teacher. He was also a failed little league baseball player at Raccoon Valley where he was much more interested in the tickets you could exchange for snow cones than the actual rules of the game. Now he loves learning rules to games — especially board games and pinball machines. His first instrument was the piano, followed briefly by clarinet, and after singing the solo in a variety show at the Des Moines Civic Center, he was asked to join a rock band in 7th grade and learned to play the guitar. From there, music followed him everywhere he went, to college where he formed the post-folk band Pimentos for Gus with Mike Hallenbeck and Tracy Spuehler to preschool where he started writing songs for his students. The absent minded professor almost became a professor after studying philosophy at Kenyon College and religious studies at the University of Chicago. But instead, he jumped in his old Volkswagen and started singing songs about the alphabet and whales wandering in the desert.

    Miami native, Inez Barlatier is a multifaceted performer of Ayisyen (Haitian) decent. In Ayiti: Stories and Songs from Haiti, she celebrates Haitian art and culture through energetic drumming and singing, colorful costumes and traditional dances, folktales and visual art. Songs and phrases in Creole explore themes of community and gratitude. Joined onstage by her father, Jan Sebon, master Ayisyen percussionist and other talented young artists, Inez leads children on a journey to a land rich with history that has often been overlooked. "I never saw a show celebrating Ayiti as a child. Even in Miami, many children don't know these stories. I want to change that, and share Ayisyen culture with children everywhere."