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Jarrard concert expands to 2-day festival

Annual event set for Sept. 23-24

POSTED: August 25, 2011 12:30 a.m.
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The late John Jarrard, a Gainesville native, made his mark as a singer-songwriter in Nashville. Now the annual benefit concert that bears his name has been expanded into a two-day festival.

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The 10th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert has been expanded to two days.

This year's concert is scheduled for Sept. 23-24 at Brenau University with a concert on Sept. 23 and a family day, art exhibit, auction and songwriter's concert on Sept. 24.

"It has been our goal to make the John Jarrard Concert more than just a one-day event," John Jarrard Foundation Executive Director Jody Jackson said.

"We had stretched the one-night format as much as we could. We've continued to search for ways to add more elements to the concert and with a Friday-Saturday format we can do that. We also liked the idea of expanding to a two-day event in celebration of the 10th anniversary milestone."

Jarrard, a Gainesville native and Nashville songwriter, was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and wrote songs for performers such as Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait, Diamond Rio and Tracy Lawrence.

Jarrard battled diabetes before passing away in 2001. The concert benefits several local charities that were dear to Jarrard including Good News at Noon Clinics, Good News at Noon and Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County.

The events start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 23 with John Hopkins, a Gainesville native and the bass player with the Zac Brown Band, performing on the front lawn at Brenau University. Hopkins will be backed by Balsam Range from North Carolina. Blackberry Smoke and Rachel Farley will also perform. Blackberry, an Atlanta-based Country/Southern rock band, has been on the road with the Zac Brown Band.

Tickets are $20 for general admission.

The festivities continue on Sept. 24 with the First Verse Family Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brenau Amphitheatre. It will feature a fine arts exhibit sponsored by Quinlan Visual Arts Center, young songwriters performing throughout the day, along with inflatable jump houses and games for the kids. Admission is free for these events.

Multi-talented Stella Parton, younger sister of Dolly, will be signing her book, "Tell It Sister, Tell It" at a time yet to be determined.

Events continue with concert gates opening at 5 p.m. on the front lawn at Brenau. At 6 p.m., the Foundation's First Verse program participants and up-and-coming songwriters will be performing, followed by the live auction and the Songwriters in the Round concert.

This year's main stage show on Saturday evening includes Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Manuel Seal, Grammy-winning songwriter Steve Dorff, Jan Smith, voice coach for Justin Beiber and other top artists, and Parton.

Parton, a good friend of Jarrard, is a singer, songwriter, writer and actress. Katie Deal, daughter of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, will also perform. Additional performers will be announced later this month.



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