Music series

An international blues artist will close the Fairfield Summer Music Series

FAIRFIELD – Alvon Johnson, fresh from his electric performance at the second annual Mare Island Dock of Bay Festival, will headline the final concert in the Fairfield Summer Music Series.

Johnson, a San Francisco native and Vallejo resident, is most definitely a blues artist, but is quick to say he’s not easily locked into one musical style.

“There’s a lot of rejection of people’s categorization of their style of music, and I guess I’m one of them,” Johnson said in a recent phone interview.

He also plays jazz – heavily influenced by guitarist Wes Montgomery – loves the big band sound, crooners and was musical director of The Coasters for two years, and also played with the band for a few years. So he’s into rock ‘n’ roll. And don’t forget renowned pickers like Roy Clark, whom he admires.

“Anyway, I love all styles of music,” Johnson said.

He said he often lets his audience dictate the type of show he puts on, and that will likely be the case at 6 p.m. Friday when he performs on “The Lawn” at Texas and Jefferson streets.

“So I’ll probably do rock ‘n’ roll, Motown, and I’ll probably do funk and jazz,” Johnson said. “I kind of try to read the audience to see what they want.”

Born in San Francisco, after high school Johnson went to the University of Oregon. When he decided that music was going to be his life, he headed to Los Angeles.

Since then he has traveled the world, with frequent concerts in Russia, Poland and other parts of Europe.

Johnson said that whether he plays in a big arena or in a city park, he tries to bring energy and hopes his music will touch the people who listen to him.

Alvon Johnson. (Courtesy picture)

“I can’t wait to get out there and do my show,” Johnson said of downtown Fairfield.

The summer series kicked off on June 24 and included six concerts – four in Texas and Jefferson, as well as hugely popular events held in Ridgeview Park and Dover Park.

“I think it went really well. Every (event) seemed to get bigger and bigger,” said Frazier Trager Presents partner Jeff Trager, who booked the series for the city.

“We had four shows downtown, different types of shows, so we had four different audiences, and that’s what I wanted. It’s Fairfield, I think,” Trager said.

Trager said it was important to have a downtown presence, but added that depending on what the city wants to do next summer, he would like to see more concerts and more parks used for shows.

“People left their homes until it was dark to listen to music. We’ve never had a problem,” Trager said.

The promoter thanks the staff of the city’s parks and recreation department for keeping the venues in top condition, and the police department for also being present at the shows.

“I would definitely do more shows. Six shows was good, but we would like to do more shows,” said Trager, who added that he would even consider weekly gigs.

A city spokesperson said Fairfield doesn’t have any specific plans yet, but would like to see more in community parks to spread across the city.