Davis musicians come ‘Home for the Holidays’

By From page A9 | December 18, 2012

Joe Craven. Courtesy photo

Joe Craven. Courtesy photo

That’s the ticket

What: “Home for the Holidays” concert

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St.

Tickets: $20 general, $8 youths under 18; Watermelon Music, 207 E St., and Armadillo Music, 205 F St.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Davis.

To celebrate, the ninth annual “Home for the Holidays” concert will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis. Tickets — $20 for adults, $8 for children under 18 — are available at Watermelon Music, 207 E St., 530-758-4010, and at Armadillo Music, 205 F St., 530-758-8058.

The show is a benefit for the Davis School Arts Foundation, which supports music and arts in Davis public schools. All money raised by the Davis School Arts Foundation will be matched by the Davis Joint Unified School District to provide education in the arts.

This year’s lineup includes Joe Craven, Hattie Craven, “Little Charlie” Baty’s Caravan, Rita Hosking with Cousin Jack, Chris Webster and Tracy Walton of Mumbo Gumbo in a trio with Bill Edwards, White Ginger Lei (a six-piece Hawaiian ensemble with Ray Elsie), Frank Fox’s Holiday Doo-Wop, Voice of the Wood (Heidi Bekebrede and Diana Craig), the Davis High School Jazz Choir and special guests.

“Home for the Holidays is a total benefit show,” producer Bill Fairfield said in a recent interview. “It has a great community vibe. Joe Craven has a kid in the Davis school system; I have a kid in the system. We want to support the arts in the local schools.”

Joe Craven will emcee the show.

“Joe’s been the emcee every year,” Fairfield said. “He’s the perfect emcee and he’s a great entertainer.”

Opening the show is Joe Craven’s daughter, Hattie Craven.

“She’s only 11 years old but has true star potential,” Fairfield said. “She’s sung with Joe at summer music festivals. She’s played this show a couple of times, but this is the first year she’s on the poster.

“Joe’s son Cody is a performer. He won Davis High Idol. Now he’s got a contract on a Disney cruise ship. Hattie sees her brother and says ‘Hey, here I am now.’ She’s doing great.”

The six-piece Hawaiian ensemble White Ginger Lei is a new addition this year.

“That features Ray Elsie, who is a great pedal steel player,” Fairfield said. “Chris Webster and Tracy Walton will join them to sing ‘Christmas Island.’ ”

Kids will enjoy Voice of the Wood, featuring locals Bekebrede and Craig.

“They both teach at the Davis Art Center. They’ll perform narrated Christmas stories acted out with masks,” Fairfield said.

Among the special guests are the Davis Art Center holiday singers.

“It’s a group of people who teach at the Art Center,” Fairfield said. “It’s a fun audience-participation performance. It helps people realize the Art Center is essential for the whole art community.”

Fairfield is also proud to present Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack.

“Rita’s grown every year,” he said. “She has her own sound and tours Europe. She’s one of the few acts in Davis doing international stuff. She’s a former teacher with a passion for music.

“Rita is the perfect example of someone who’s intimate with the Davis school system and is giving back,” he added. “Chris Webster was in the Davis High Madrigals and she’s giving back. We love having musicians like Rita, Chris and Charlie play every year. It’s people from the area that want to give back to the community.”

The concert offers the perfect opportunity for the local community of musicians as well.

“I realized musicians are home for the holidays,” Fairfield explained. “Back when I was full-time with Mumbo Gumbo, we’d do gigs while Little Charlie was doing gigs, and Joe had gigs, and we didn’t get to see each other. We couldn’t see each other’s shows because we had our own.

“So this time of the year, everybody’s here and we can get together. Let’s play together and have that community. I grew up in a small town and I like that small-town feel.”

Home for the Holidays represents everything the holidays are about: family, giving and spreading good cheer.

“I want to bring all my friends together to play music and come together for a good cause,” Fairfield said. “We help out the kids. It’s a good gathering of local folks who are into music and art. It’s just a great vibe.”

For more information, visit the Davis School Arts Foundation on Facebook and www.billyfairfield.com.

Landon Christensen

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