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February 7, 2013

Postponed: A concert for New Orleans

Two natives perform to send teens to help rebuilding effort

Editor's note: This concert has been postponed because of the forecast blizzard. The concert will take place April 6 at 7:30 p.m.

 

Charles Neville, a Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, will join Gloucester’s Henri Smith and his band for a Mardi Gras benefit concert at the historic Larcom Theatre in Beverly tomorrow evening at 7:30.

The two New Orleans natives will be joined by two other natives of the birthplace of jazz, Amadee Castenel and Charles Burchell. In the spirit of community building, Smith noted that this is a benefit event for an annual YMCA youth service trip to New Orleans, which includes students from Cape Ann.

“We want to help the children going to help people in New Orleans, so what better way to help than with a concert — that’s why it’s so special,” Smith said.

“I have to be involved, ‘cause it’s my town,” added Smith, who has lived in Gloucester since fleeing Hurricane Katrina. “We’re all doing this for the cause of New Orleans.”

Smith and his band performed this show in Gloucester last year, and now will take it to the larger venue in Beverly, produced by the Gloucester-based gimmeLIVE. Smith said concert-goers should be prepared for a New Orleans second-line parade at a festive event like this.

The Larcom Theatre was built in 1912, and served as the home to Le Grand David Magic show for 35 years. The theater has a horseshoe balcony, pressed tin ceilings and silk wall coverings.

Smith’s appearance will mark the first time in more than 30 years that the Larcom Theatre has hosted performers other than Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company. The company stopped appearing at the venue last spring, after founder Cesareo Pelaez died.

‘“It’s going to be a great night and we will have two Grammy winners on the stage,” said Smith, referring to Castenell who worked with Grammy Award-winning Dr. John. Castenell also was on the HBO hit series “Treme,” which is the name of a New Orleans neighborhood.

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