WESTPORT—Saturday’s Charlie Karp Memorial Concert at the Levitt Pavilion was not only a Who’s Who of local music history, but a familial get-together for a galaxy of musicians who shared care in the memory of a fellow performer.
Some 30 musicians — many of whom, like Karp, grew up in Westport — took part in the Levitt’s fundraiser concert, which also raised money for The Charlie Karp Memorial Fund.
Performers included Barry Tashian of the Remains, Roger Ball of The Average White Band, Scott Spray, longtime bassist for Johnny Winter, and many other great seasoned professionals, including Doug Wahlberg, Bobby “T” Torello, Joey Melotti, Billy Seidman, Jon Saxon, and Tim DeHuff.
“It’s been a fun project,” said guitarist DeHuff, who graduated from Staples High School in 1972 — a year after Karp would have, had he not left Staples as a senior to pursue music as a professional guitarist.
“It’s a real reunion for us Westporters,” DeHuff said.
“Each era in Westport music is represented,” he said, “and somehow connected to Charlie.”
Karp, who died in March, enjoyed a formidable career that included songwriting, recording and touring professionally, starting with R&B legend Buddy Miles when he was only a teenager.
“He was always focused on producing music, which he did right up until the end,” said DeHuff, who played many times with Karp over the years.
“I became friendly with Charlie in sixth grade,” said Seidman, who started his first band with him — the Silver Jades — when they were both attending Bedford Junior High School on nearby Riverside Avenue.
“We played at Bedford and Coleytown dances and rehearsed in his parents’ garage on Green Briar Lane,” he said, describing Karp as very witty, very charming, and a great listener as well.
“He was just a very gracious guy,” he said.