IAC Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2008

Contact: Jeff Morgan
Public Relations

Iowa Arts Council celebrates African American Blues April 12

Kevin B.F. Burt and the Instigators to perform as part of Cultural Express program

(DES MOINES, Iowa)—The Iowa Arts Council will celebrate African American Blues in Iowa next month when it presents Kevin “B.F.” Burt and the Instigators, who will perform, talk and jam at the State Historical Building.

Thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Initiative, this free, family-oriented performance will take place 1-3 p.m. April 12, 2008, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. More information is available at 515-281-5111 or www.culturalaffairs.org. Audience members are encouraged to bring instruments and jam with the band.

Burt and the Instigators are featured performers in IAC’s Cultural Express program, funded in part by a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Access to the Arts grant. This project was created in collaboration with traditional artists and communities. Tabletop exhibits, resource kits for activities, and live two-hour programs explore Danish, American Indian, Lao, Bosnian, Asian Indian, and Vietnamese folklife, as well as traditional Gospel, Blues, Latino, Old Time Anglo-Scots-Irish, and Czech and German Polka music.

Born and reared in Waterloo, Burt grew up listening to church choirs and became a social worker.

When a co-worker praised his powerful voice several years ago, Burt began attending local blues jams where he met a group of musicians who decided to form their own band, Kevin Burt & the Instigators. Led by Burt on lead vocals, the group includes John Lane on bass, Eric Madson on drums and Matt Panek on guitar.

This four-member band has toured the Midwest for 11 years playing songs on the funky side of the blues.

They perform a blues repertoire of old and new songs by such artists as Bill Withers, Muddy Waters and Creedence Clearwater Revival to create an indigenous Iowa sound. Kevin Burt & the Instigators perform at various blues venues and festivals from small towns to major cities such as Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis.

Burt, along with Panek, was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Institution’s 1996 Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. and at the Sesquicentennial Festival of Iowa Folklife, as well as at subsequent state and regional folklife festivals. He has shared billing with B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Ellis Hooks, David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Robert Lockwood Jr., Little Ed, Long John Hunter, Rod Piazza, Kenny Neal, Jonny Rawls and more.


 The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and works to enrich the quality of life and learning in Iowa communities by encouraging excellence in the arts through leadership, grants and technical assistance. Funding for the Iowa Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Iowa and the National Endowment for the Arts. Please visit www.iowaartscouncil.org for more information.