The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA has scheduled a benefit concert on September 2 for Bill and Kathy Evans.
Bill is well-known in bluegrass circles for his long career as a banjo player, instructor, and booking agent. He and his wife live in nearby Richmond, CA and Kathy has taught in the adjoining Albany school system for many years. The Freight & Salvage has hosted many of Bill’s performances over the years, along with his annual Banjo Spectacular concerts where banjo pickers from the eastern and central US make the trek to northern California for a week of workshops and shows.
But recently the Evans family has been fighting against one of the toughest foes our modern life can bring. Kathy has been diagnosed with a difficult form of leukemia that has not only prevented her from teaching, but forced her to be away for months at a time for bone marrow treatments some distance away from home. Bill has had to split his time between their family home in Richmond and Kathy’s side at the hospital, and they have been fortunate to have good friends near the hospital that could help put them up. But the toll of medical expenses, travel, and Kathy not being able to work is starting to wear them down.
Bill says that their two adult children (Corey and Jesse) have been lifesavers, helping out whenever and wherever possible in the midst of their own busy lives.
The good news is that the Evanses are hopeful that her second bone marrow transplant will be successful, and that Kathy may be able to return to the classroom in 2017. But in the meantime, the family could use a little help from the bluegrass community.
The September 2 benefit will begin at 7:00 p.m. and feature performances by Hot Buttered Rum, James Nash, Crary, Evans & Spurgin, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Steep Ravine, Hard Road Trio with Steve Smith, Tom Rozum, Eric Thompson, Keith Little, Sharon Gilchrist, Scott Nygaard, Alan Senauke, Steve Pottier, Max Schwartz and a number of other special guests. Tickets are being offered in advance for $30, with proceeds to be donated to Bill and Kathy Evans.
Freight & Salvage is also facilitating additional direct donations to the Evanses through their online donation form, which will accommodate secure credit card payments. To use the form simply check the “for the Bill & Kathy Evans Family Benefit” box at the bottom of the page and your donation will be added to the take for the concert.
Bill has dedicated his entire life to bluegrass and other forms of traditional music. In fact, he abandoned a promising academic career in order to perform full time. Thousands of banjo players world wide have benefited from his many instructional DVDs and workshops and if only a small percentage of them are in a position to make a donation, we can surely ease part of the family’s financial burdens.
Let’s hope to hear some good news soon from Kathy’s treatment, and this lovely family can return to a normal life.