Meet Local Musician Charles Kavoossi
My first introduction to Charles Kavoossi was at the 2006 Anne Arundel County Battle of the Bands. I quickly became a fan and followed him and his band THINK from event to event. After high school at Spalding, Charles (“Chaz”) took time to do some traveling, living in Boston, and later Portland. About 3 years ago, he was ready to come home and rejoin his hometown music scene. Since that time, Charles has gained much popularity as a professional musician. For this reason, it was only natural that we meet up at Woods (now known as Holy Grounds Youth Center, Severna Park Community Center), one of the places where he first started performing.
How does it feel to be back here?
It’s fun to be back in here on the Woods’ stage playing – well not playing I guess, but talking about playing. This place was, like, the first real deal for us. We were all too young to play bars or anything, and churches were just generally “the thing.” Many times churches’ aesthetics were very “nice” and setup, but this place is a little more “warehouse-y” and we could just be a bunch of stupid kids here and play awesome music. I met a lot of people that still rule the Annapolis scene; they came out of this place too, and my first band experiences were here, so it’s kinda’ cool to be here talking about it.
Where did you come from? What brought you to this point?
Originally, I’m from PG County. Bowie is where I grew up most of my life. I guess what connects me from there-to-here is finding an old guitar in my parents’ basement that no one ever talked about – no one ever played – and it was intriguing to me. I wondered why no one had ever brought this up. Long story short, I got into in a band and started writing songs and here I am!
How would you describe Annapolis’ scene to visitors? What shouldn’t they miss?
You walk down the main streets of Annapolis and in the windows of many restaurants there is live music – a lot of times, it’s free to see, and most of the time people are excellent. There is a variety of music and it’s a hidden gem. People see Annapolis as a historic, nautical town, which it is, but I would also describe it as having a mini Nashville kind of vibe.
What would be your perfect gig? Who would be there with you?
I don’t think it has to do with the turnout, or the lights or the venue. The perfect gig for me would be to have everything that was in my recordings played live. Every instrument. Every nuance; having seven or eight people up on stage with strings… and nailing it. It’s tricky because recording isn’t like it was back in a day where everyone is in one room doing it. There are so many levels in production. BUT, there are many shows I’ve seen by artists that have made albums I love that do it, and it’s awesome and super-inspiring because you realize that it is doable, not impossible. So, my perfect gig would be to do that.
What does music give you?
As far as what I get out of music, it’s definitely fulfillment of my life. I sometimes think about what I would do if I couldn’t have music in my life, and I’d probably be cooking – I love doing that too and I did it for a long time as a job. Or I’d be a graphic designer. When I do those things, they’re fun, but when I’m playing or teaching music, or recording it, it’s like feeling that “I found it.” Music gives me that.
How would you like to be remembered? What would you like to be known for?
I really would like to be remembered by my songs more than my name. I’d love if people would be like, “Who wrote that song? I love that song!” That, to me, is the best feeling. I went and saw, um, this is the perfect example, I can’t remember his name right now…(chuckle). He wrote that song, “Sunshine, go away today…” Oh yeah, Jonathan Edwards. I drove a friend up to Vermont – Emily Elbert, who is doing great things now, too – and she opened for him. I didn’t know anything about him until he played this song, and at the end, he’s like, “Yeah, right back in whatever year I wrote that…” and I was like “what?!?” I walked up to him and I was honest, saying, “I didn’t know you were you, but I love that song! He was super happy to hear that kind of honesty. It impacted me. That – and to be a good dude, like a good guy, in the music scene. I think I’m doing that with the open mics and teaching, I love helping people get into it.
For information about scheduling an event at Holy Grounds Youth Center, Severna Park Community Center, please contact: Betsy Gregory at 410.647.5843, ext. 301, or email BGregory@SPCommunityCenter.org. More Information: SPCommunityCenter.org
Naptownmusic is an independent collective that celebrates the live music renaissance of Annapolis through daily music calendars, reviews, interviews, video and photography. You can find them at: Naptownmusic.us, Facebook,
Photography courtesy of Joe Ellis Photography