John Driskell Hopkins

John Driskell Hopkins will perform a concert of his Christmas music accompanied by the Atlanta Pops Orchestra at the Buford Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 18.

Growing up in Gainesville, Hopkins returned to the north Georgia area when he moved to Atlanta after graduating from Florida State University. There, he was instrumental in a number of musical projects, the most noteworthy of which was his role as a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band.

Hopkins now lives in Marietta with his family, and has taken on a number of solo projects in recent years. Fostering a true love of holiday music, he has released three albums of Christmas songs. 

“I think it’s the spirit of giving and the spirit of family that draw me to the themes so much …” said Hopkins, who still visits his parents every Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family. “But also, it represents the most wonderful time of the year. I mean, it really is a time when people for whatever reason … whether they celebrate Christmas or other holidays … this end of the year time, the entire world seems to be in a phase of ‘let’s treat each other with kindness’ and I want to celebrate that.”

His first Christmas album, “In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays,” was released in 2016 and features mostly standard Christmas songs performed in a more traditional style. His next collection of holiday music is called “You Better Watch Out” (2017), and it includes a mixture of traditional Christmas music as well as some less well-known songs in styles incorporating jazz and Latin musical themes.

His most recent Christmas album, “Our Finest Gifts” (2019) is largely non-traditional songs and originals by Hopkins and features everything from a classic Sinatra feel to R&B vibes.

Speaking on how his eclectic musical styles will come out in the concert, Hopkins said, “I have tried to make all three of these Christmas records unique … not all of them require a 16 piece orchestra, but I think that they are ultimately all really accentuated by the Atlanta Pops Ensemble being there.” 

He went on to say that the show would include “a little something for everybody, but nothing that’s going to shock anyone.”

Hopkins is also excited to be playing his first ever solo show at the Sylvia Beard Theater. He’s played the venue before with Joe Gransden and Balsam Range, but looks forward to finally being the headliner at a venue so close to home, especially during the holiday season. He’s happy that his family, both his parents and his own children, will be able to attend as well.

Tickets for the performance are on sale now for $35 to $45 and can be purchased online at bufordcommunitycenter.com. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Sylvia Beard Theater at the Buford Community Center.

If you go

  • What: John Driskell Hopkins Christmas concert
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18
  • Where: Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Highway N.E., Buford
  • Cost: $35 to $45
  • For more information: Visit bufordcommunitycenter.com

FEATURED PHOTO ABOVE: John Driskell Hopkins will perform a Christmas show on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, on the Sylvia Beard Theater stage at the Buford Community Center. Photo by Jolie Loren Photography

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