Alvon Johnson has hosted and produced marathon advantages earlier than. A “Live performance for Karen” gained’t be one in all them.
“This isn’t going to be three hours,” says the blues guitarist. “I feel 90 minutes is sweet.”
And for good purpose, he mentioned. The April 1 fundraiser for youth scholarships can be recorded earlier from the Empress Theatre in downtown Vallejo with Johnson, Lenny Williams, Tommy Castro, Terrie Odabi, and Tony Lindsay. All of the above plus a video forwarded from Keb’ Mo’ can be edited into a movie and screened April 1 for an honest-to-goodness dwell viewers as much as 100 individuals.
With some individuals involved about how lengthy they handle indoors collectively, 90 minutes is satisfactory, mentioned Johnson. In addition to, he believes with the expertise he assembled, an hour and a half “is de facto sufficient.”
Johnson will host the occasion, which can also be “live-streamed” on the identical 7:30 p.m. time for these at residence.
Tickets for the view-at-home streaming are $25. Viewing in individual is $38.
“Hopefully, individuals will acknowledge that it’s an important trigger they usually’ll be beneficiant,” Johnson mentioned, hoping the fundraiser happens yearly “and will get larger and higher yearly.”
The live performance is devoted to Johnson’s late spouse, Karen Richards, who died final summer time from most cancers.
Johnson believes the profit for younger musicians is his late spouse’s legacy as a result of “Karen was a type of individuals at all times making an attempt to assist different individuals.”
“I don’t need her legacy simply being my life,” Johnson mentioned, managing a chuckle.
Johnson figured it was 2006 — “possibly 2007” — when the 2 met. Appears Richards needed Johnson to show her how one can sing.
“She mentioned she at all times needed to do the blues,” he mentioned, laughing “I assumed she was simply making an attempt to hit on me.”
Johnson didn’t make a great first impression.
“I informed her ‘You costume like a jazz singer’ and she or he walked away,” he mentioned.
So, uh, it wasn’t love at first sight.
“By no means,” he mentioned.
That got here later when the 2 would cross paths across the membership circuit, as Johnson lastly admitted, “She was kinda cute.”
Cute sufficient to fall in love with and, at occasions, be Johnson’s visitor vocalist.
By no means, in fact, might he think about doing a tribute present in his spouse’s honor.
“I’ve had some actually horrible days, however that (April 1) gained’t be one in all them,” insisted Johnson. “It’s going to be fantastic; a end result of all the enjoyment that we skilled collectively. It’s going to be all about sharing with the world how I really feel about her and the way I really feel about doing one thing for these youngsters.”
Johnson mentioned each artist he requested instantly agreed to play, donating their abilities for the trigger.
As a result of it was solely recognized on the final minute that Solano County would advance to the “pink tier” and permit 100 to observe a movie of the dwell live performance in individual, this system was stored easy, Johnson mentioned.
“Get it accomplished and subsequent 12 months take it to a different degree,” he mentioned.
When Alvon steps on stage April 1 to introduce the filmed live performance, “I feel it’ll really feel fantastic,” he mentioned. “I feel Karen can be watching me considering, ‘That’s my honey.’ I’m going to make her proud.”
Johnson mentioned he’s had his share of emotional moments already from the stage and off it “for the primary few months” following his spouse’s passing.
“I couldn’t see any sunshine. It was like I used to be strolling in a fog,” he mentioned.
He mentioned he’ll consider her incessantly through the recording for April 1 and whereas internet hosting the primary in-person Empress occasion in virtually a 12 months.
“I’m impressed by and grateful for what she gave me,” Johnson mentioned. “She made me a greater individual.”
One different factor. The April 1 date. It’s not as a result of Johnson has a factor for April Idiot’s Day.
It was Karen’s birthday.
“Live performance for Karen,” a live performance movie and streamed profit for younger musicians that includes Alvon Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Lenny Williams, Tommy Castro, Terrie Odabi, and Tony Lindsay. Streamed tickets $25, in-person movie viewing, $38. For extra, go to empresstheatre.org.