Focus on Teens is a Dallas nonprofit that reaches out to young people in the critical early stages of homelessness. Serving young people in crisis situations, Focus on Teens collaborates with local high schools to provide weekly drop-in centers to cater to the immediate, pressing needs of students, bolstering this support with wraparound services including drug abuse and suicide prevention programs.
"Keith Price, the director of Focus on Teens, used to run the Austin Street Center, and I came to know him through some events I did with them," Nadel said. "When he explained to me what he was doing with Focus on Teens, I asked how I could help. As a relatively new nonprofit they needed help with funds and public awareness, so I figured this concert would be a great step.
"Tragically, there are 3,000 homeless adolescents, trying to go to school, just in Dallas ISD. Focus on Teens feeds kids, clothes them when needed, provides hygiene products, provides bus passes for school, assesses for suicide, instructs how to stay away from dangerous drugs, assigns an intern to schools to help with case work, and offers families advice on working with teens in transition."
LaFave is from Wills Point in East Texas, and he first emerged as a Dallas favorite with his 1992 CD "Austin Skyline," which included the classic song "Walk Away Renee." Elbert is a local graduate of Coppell High School and the Berklee School of Music. She has performed close to 1,000 solo shows around the world from Peru to Palestine.
"I have been a huge fan of Jimmy LaFave since hearing his cover of 'Walk Away Renee' in 1992," Nadel said. "When we were raising money to build the first dog park at White Rock Lake, Jimmy played a benefit concert for us and we have been friends since then. I have tried to get him for this show every year, but there have always been scheduling conflicts, so I am ecstatic it worked out this year.
"Emily was selected to be the first performer to take the Kessler stage when they opened five years ago. I have seen her play several times, and I am always overwhelmed by her amazing vocal talent and guitar playing."
The 72-year-old Kessler Theater is located in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a part of Gene Autry's chain of movie theaters, it reopened five years ago as a music venue and has become a favorite place for Nadel.
"The Kessler is to me the best venue of its size  in the country, with perfect acoustics and an unmatched intimacy to help foster the communal feeling that this concert creates," Nadel said. "Edwin Cabaniss and his staff have become a vital part of the Oak Cliff community, and we are really fortunate to have a place like this for concerts and all the other services they provide."
For tickets to the concert, click here.