Singer/songwriter Steve Azar assists many charitable organizations in his native Mississippi Delta as well as in Nashville, TN. His Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation primarily focuses on Catholic organizations that help sick, disadvantaged or abused children. He conducts toy, clothing and food drives annually, and presents fundraising shows for his foundation. His four-day annual “Magnolia” celebrity event highlights the arts, music and food that define Delta blues culture.
An avid golfer, he also participates in charity golf tournaments. Kevin Sorbo’s Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament to benefit A World Fit For Kids! (WFIT) is no exception.
Two years ago, Azar participated in and performed at Sorbo’s first tournament. He truly enjoyed the experience, and graciously spoke about it with this writer in June, 2011.
SW: Please tell me a little about your friendship with Kevin.
SA: Kevin’s a dear friend and I have great respect for him. We’ve become friends over the years. Obviously, golf has been a common thread for us to get to know each other; that’s how we met. It’s interesting. We’ve all become friends through the game of golf and doing charity events; they sort of go hand-in-hand.
SW: I know you played Kevin’s Tournament in the past…
SA: I didn’t get to go last year because I was on tour. It killed me. He changed the date, and he changed it right on top of one my busy times on the road. And then this year, I said, “Kevin, you’re doing it again!” But, I did play the first year. I know all about him, WFIT, and his passion for children, and we both have kids and we both know the benefits and importance of parents getting to spend time with their kids. So, I think we both share that passion.
SW: How did you get involved with the Tournament that year?
SA: We met being celebrity guests at the BMW (Charity Pro-Am) in Greenville, SC, and we just hit it off. I think Kevin started to dig my music and I’ve always dug him as an actor. Even now I’m so proud of him. People are starting to see his talent, and are taking it to a different place. And I guess when you have one of the biggest shows in the world on T.V. (“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), you can get pigeonholed a little bit, just like I get pigeonholed sometimes in the country (music) format and I have more of a blues rock background. But, we live in boxes in the (entertainment) industry, and sometimes it takes a minute for people to know that there’re other parts to us, a bigger variety. It sort of penalizes us, but, I like to think that it also opens some doors to a complete career. That’s how we met and we just hit it off.
SW: And Kevin said, “I’m having this Tournament, why don’t you come and play?”
SA: It’s how it all happens. It starts with one and that’s how you meet. I’ve met everybody. Then at all of these events you meet people that have their own charities, foundations and events and then we just start helping each other.
It’s interesting. Kevin and I have a friend, Javier Colon, who’s going to win “The Voice,” and he’s been a friend of ours for years. So, every once in a while something great happens to somebody that’s really great. And so, this is an exciting moment for all of us. And Kevin in (the film) Soul Surfer – my wife and little girl came home and said, “He was unbelievable!”
And we’re so proud of Kevin because it was a great movie and it mattered. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. He’s a hard-working guy. He’s probably intuitive with his own career and he’s going to have great moments with his great things. I’m a journeyman like Kevin (in) that we know our success. The greatest satisfaction is within your own soul and heart and your peers who really respect it.
Watch this blog for a more in-depth interview with Azar.
See Azar’s website for more information and news about his exciting upcoming release of “Delta Soul:” http://www.steveazar.com/
Register to golf in or sponsor the 3rd Annual Kevin Sorbo Celebrity Golf Tournament, September 23-25, at the Silverado Resort in Napa, CA: http://www.worldfitforkids.org/golf/
(Photo courtesy of Steve Azar)