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JonVezner-darkBkgrnd-ctCroppedAUSTIN, Minn.-- Area residents will be treated to a free benefit concert Friday, Oct. 19 being staged to assist KSMQ-TV raise funds to rebuild its television tower destroyed during a storm last month. Grammy Award-winning artist Jon Vezner will perform his fresh original brand of country-folk music at the Paramount Theatre in Austin beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 19. A free-will offering will be taken during the concert, with all money collected to be used to help meet the non-profit public broadcaster's $5,000 insurance deductible payment needed to rebuild its television tower. No tickets will be required for admittance, although it is asked that audience members also bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the local food shelf.

Jon Vezner is a Minnesota native and grew up in the Twin Cities area. While he has worked in Nashville for many years, he remains connected with many people in the Minnesota arts community.

"When Jon heard about our tower going down, he asked if there was anything he could do to help," said Eric Olson, KSMQ President and CEO. "That's how this benefit concert came to be. We are of course very thrilled that he took an interest in our situation.We hope that community residents will show their appreciation by coming out and enjoying a great night of music that is appropriate for all ages."

Olson first met Vezner 20 years ago when Olson was working as a reporter in Minneapolis for KARE-11 TV. While at KARE 11 Olson sought out Vezner in order to document his musical career, going so far as to follow along with Vezner to northern California where he was touring with other Nashville songwriters. The experience made a lasting impression on Olson and he has remained a fan of Vezner's ever since.

Jon Vezner was honored with a Grammy for "Best Country Song" and the Nashville Songwriters Association “Song of the Year” in 1990 for “Where’ve You Been,” the true story of Vezner’s grandparents, co-written with Don Henry, and recorded by Kathy Mattea. “Where’ve You Been” was also honored as “Song of the Year” by the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM). Vezner’s catalogue of songs reads like a songbook itself, as his compositions have been interpreted and recorded by the greats in the business such as Martina McBride, Janis Ian, John Mellencamp, Nancy Griffith, Faith Hill, Clay Walker, Diamond Rio and Native American recording artist, Bill Miller. 

 What: Benefit Concert for KSMQ-TV

Who: Grammy Award winning songwriter Jon Vezner

Where: Paramount Theatre, Austin

When: Friday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.