Williams brings musical success home for annual free concert this weekend

You can catch saxophonist Kebbi Williams in a free concert fresh off another musical triumph — the Grammy-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, of which he is a member, this month won the Rock Blues Album of the Year from the Blues Music Awards.

Williams is putting on his third annual Music in the Park concert Sunday at the Wren’s Nest.

The concert had its genesis in backyard jam sessions in Atlanta’s West End and grew into a heartfelt project for Williams to bring great music to kids who might not be exposed to it otherwise.

People in metro Atlanta can travel to Piedmont Park or other parks to hear music, but there is little in less affluent West End.

“We want to put it in a neighborhood where you might not get a lot of jazz,” Williams said.

The concert will also feature funk, blues and classical music.

There will be a mix of music professionals and amateurs, such as composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, who will conduct an orchestra made up of Atlanta-area schoolchildren. Other musicians such as Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, Faun and a Pan Flute, Jiva, the Fourth Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra and Indie Revenge will also play.

“When kids come … to cut up, they are going to hear other kids playing violins and hear a lot of great music,” Williams said. “That’s what it is all about.”

He put on the first concert in 2010 in Howell Park-West End using a one-time grant from the city of Atlanta.

“Everybody said, ‘You’ve got to do that again,’ ” Williams said, so he and friends raised some money and played a second concert.

After that, they formed a nonprofit to continue the effort and partnered this year with the Atlanta Jazz Festival. The next concert has been moved to the Wren’s Nest because of the expected crowd.

Williams, an Atlantan and graduate of Benjamin E. Mays High School, said the last couple of years for him have been “crazy,” but it’s a good crazy.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band won a Grammy for “Revelator” as the best blues album in 2012. Williams played and helped arrange music for the album and tours with the band, which comes to Alpharetta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in July. He keeps busy also touring with others.

But he loves coming home to play in the park.

“It’s kind of a big family affair,” he said.

Music in the Park begins at 3 p.m. and goes until sundown at the Wren’s Nest, 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. S.W. in Atlanta.

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