BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
CENTERVILLE — Aaron James Karr wants to keep the music going.
The recording artist and Centerville resident is combining with other local artists to perform a special benefit concert for CenterPoint Legacy Theatre on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the theater. The concert will also serve as the launch for Karr’s new album, “Save Me.”
“With every tour I do, I always try to do three or four benefit concerts,” said Karr. “When I needed a place to do my CD release concert, CenterPoint seemed perfect.”
He’ll be performing with several guest artists, many of whom Karr has either produced or taught. The list includes Missy Lynn, Taylor Cox, Triza Murdock and Brenna Elyse.
“Taylor is barely getting her start, but you’ll be hearing more of her,” said Karr. “And Missy has an amazing voice.”
Students from the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake will also be performing. Like all of the musicians, they’re donating their time so that more money goes to the theater.
“They’re probably the most talented youth orchestra I’ve ever seen,” said Karr. “They’ll be bringing a chamber orchestra with some of their best players to the concert.”
Karr released a few CDs after winning the 2002 Utah American Idol contest at the age of 13, but he put his music career on hold in 2007 to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Since then, Karr has been releasing singles via iTunes and Amazon. He also releases videos on YouTube, which average 30,000 views each.
“My style is pop R&B, but a lot of my new music has a little bit more of a Motown funk,” he said.
It’s also family-friendly, which was an important factor for CenterPoint.
“He mostly draws a younger crowd, but he’s had entire families come to his concerts,” said Jan Davis, executive director at CenterPoint. “We thought he’d be a good fit.”
Though he was content with online distribution, Karr said that his fans have requested a new CD for a long time.
“I kind of promised my fans I’d release a physical album,” said Karr. “When I announced it last month, they just went crazy.”
The CD, which will be for sale at the concert, consists of five original songs. The benefit concert will be the first Karr performs where he sings only his original music.
“I’ve always wanted to release music that defines who I am,” said Karr. “All of the songs are experiences either I’ve had or seen other people go through.”
The concert will also serve as a new experience for CenterPoint Legacy Theatre. The theater plans to use the concert as a test to consider possibly expanding its offerings beyond stage productions.
“We’d like to see if we can offer a few concerts,” said Davis. “It’s not something we’d do every month. It’s more a matter of where we can fit something in the schedule.”
Davis and the rest of the CenterPoint board had been considering the possibility for some time. When Karr and the other performers volunteered their time for the concert, they decided it was the perfect opportunity.
“They’re local performers, so it’s easy for us to work together,” said Davis. “It’s a good way to build some kind of foundation for this type of event.”