The John Jarrard Foundation is changing its 19th annual songwriter show this year by going virtual.
From 8-10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, people will be able to tune in for free to watch an online concert featuring live performances from No. 1 hit songwriters Phil Vassar, Bob DiPiero, Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley.
The whole show will be livestreamed from the Bluebird Café in Nashville, which has gained a reputation for hosting shows from both up-and-coming and renown songwriters. The foundation’s concert was previously held in-person on Brenau University’s front lawn in Gainesville.
19th Annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert
What: Online concert with performances from songwriters Phil Vassar, Bob DiPiero, Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley to benefit Northeast Georgia charities
When: 8-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23
How much: Free to view
More info: johnjarrardfoundation.com
Online auction: Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct.23, at johnjarrardfoundation.com
Jody Jackson, executive director of the John Jarrard Foundation, said people can expect to hear songs written for country artists such as Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, Kenny Chesney and more.
"In the past 19 years it has gotten bigger and better,” Jackson said. “It’s a disappointment to go virtual, but this year we decided it would be the safest and best thing to do. The good news is we’re going to be able to capture people who have never heard of the Jarrard Foundation.”
The concert honors the memory of John Jarrard, a Gainesville native who died in 2001 after a long battle with Type 1 diabetes. Before his death, Jarrard wrote hit songs performed by country musicians like Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait and Tracy Lawrence. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Jackson said DiPiero, one of the songwriters in this year’s concert, wrote a couple of hit songs with Jarrard, including "Blue Clear Sky” by George Strait.
“We’re very fortunate to get him to do this,” he said. “He knew and loved John.”
Sneak preview of John Jarrard Foundation's 19th annual Songwriter ShowThe John Jarrard Foundation's 19th annual Songwriter Show is going online this year from 8-10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, with livestreamed performances from songwriters Phil Vassar, Bob DiPiero, Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley.
While people watch the show, Jackson said they will have an option to donate, which will appear with the video. All contributions from the concert will be distributed among Northeast Georgia charities including Good News Clinics, Georgia Mountain Food Bank, Good News at Noon Shelter, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier and Sisu Integrated Early Learning.
People can also sign up for sponsorships on the foundation’s website, which range in price from $600 to $2,500. Jackson said the Northeast Georgia Health System recently stepped up as the concert’s No. 1 sponsor.
Around $108,000 was raised during the 2019 event. This year, Jackson said he hopes to reach at least $150,000 in donations.
“It’s just been amazing the money we’ve raised and the people who support it year after year,” he said.
Before the concert, the foundation will hold an online auction from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct.23, which will also benefit the five nonprofits. Some of the items are an all-inclusive trip to Nashville and several pieces of artwork from local artists. People will be able to participate and view the auction list at the foundation’s website.
For more information about the upcoming songwriter concert, visit johnjarrardfoundation.com.