Archived Story

Jon Venzer comes to Austin for KSMQ benefit

Published 4:30pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

Grammy Award-winning songwriter, Jon Venzer will be grace the Historic Paramount Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m., this Friday.

Known as a tunesmith of rare sensitivity and dry wit, Jon’s catalogue of recorded songs includes the poignant “Where’ve You Been” that reflects his straight-to-the heart sensibility.

Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Jon was lead singer and bassist in bands throughout his high school years.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in music theory and music education from Minnesota Southwest State University in the mid 1970s.

Jon moved to Nashville in January 1986 and within his first year there, he had songs recorded by Reba McEntire and Ronnie Milsap.

In 1989, he co-wrote “Where’ve You Been” with fellow singer/songwriter Don Henry, recorded by Kathy Mattea, Jon’s wife. The song was honored with a Grammy Award for Best Country Song and the Nashville Songwriters Association’s Song of the Year award.

His other songs have been recorded by a varied list of artists, including Martina McBride, Janis Ian, John Mellencamp, Faith Hill and Diamond Rio.

The Austin Area Commission for the Arts is partnering with KSMQ-TV to bring Jon to Austin. As some may have heard, KSMQ-TV’s broadcast tower was destroyed during the wind storm that swept through Austin on Sept. 5. KSMQ-TV needs to raise a $5,000 deductible in order to meet the terms of their insurance policy to replace the tower.

When Jon heard about the tower, he contacted the station and asked to help in some way. Thanks to Jon’s generosity, his performance has become a benefit for KSMQ-TV to raise the funds to replace the tower.

Admission to the show is a free will donation to help support this cause. For more information about this event visit

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