By Gail McCarthy Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — The Cape Ann Big Band is paying tribute to veterans in a benefit for the city’s World War II Memorial in a special event on Sunday afternoon in honor of Veterans Day.
Two years after World War II, Harry S. Truman established Veterans Day as a national holiday, having elected Nov. 11 — the anniversary of the famous World War I’s Armistice in 1918— as the official day of recognition.
“What better way to pay homage and to say thank you to Gloucester’s many veterans than to enjoy music from the Golden Era, performed by one of our community’s premier musical acts. The Cape Ann Big Band will be hosting a concert this upcoming Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, to honor and benefit our veterans,” said Lenny Linquata of the Gloucester House, also the venue of the event.
Proceeds from the event will go to the perpetual care of the World War II Memorial at Kent Circle.
“Cape Ann Big Band’s infectious energy and beautiful renditions of jazz, swing, soul, and rock and roll’s best known songs are sure to delight the crowd. This is a celebration of not only our city’s veterans’ sacrifices, service, and lives, but of all of our nation’s veterans,” said Linquata.
The event will be hosted at The Gloucester House restaurant and will run from 3 until 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased at the Gloucester House or by calling Connie Condon at 978-283-4098. Organizers hope that people will buy tickets in advance at the Gloucester House but tickets will also be available at the door.
“We’re an organization that is nonprofit and none of us take a cent, but we all do this because we feel it is a very necessary thing to be done,” said Michael Linquata, 87, who spearheaded the committee to create a World War II Memorial in Gloucester.
“We believe that the men and women who fought so hard during that time to preserve the United States and keep us a strong nation deserve some lasting gratitude,” said Michael Linquata, who served as a combat medic in the Battle of the Bulge, and who was a prisoner of war for three months in Germany.
He added that there is a need to raise money for the memorial’s perpetual care, especially when the memorial, which was unveiled in 2006, has already been the target of vandals.
Michael Linquata wanted to emphasize that Gloucester residents served and fought in every battle and every theater of that war, from Pearl Harbor to Africa, Europe, Asia, and in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
“It’s one of these things that should be remembered and the only way to remember it is with a memorial and the only way to have a decent one is to maintain it,” he said.
This event is another opportunity for the community to hear the Cape Ann Big Band, which performed to sold-out crowds this past summer at Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center. The band was formed in December 2010 when director Carlos Menezes Jr. teamed up with friends and fellow musicians Paula Burns, Shawn Lowe, Mike Lentini, and Rick Geraghty to discuss the creation of a 17-piece big band.
“What was once a dream, quickly became reality when Menezes found the roster full in just a week’s time. Driven by the talents of Cape Ann musicians, the Cape Ann Big Band prides itself in performing to entertain and connect with its local community,” according to its Facebook page.
The band is notable for the many generations that make up the group.
“Music is a worldwide language that connects people with community and penetrates the soul of both listener and performer. This is the very experience that the band strives to deliver through its powerhouse performances,” according to the band’s bio. “... Inspired by the sounds of jazz, swing, New Orleans street bands, soul, and rock n’ roll, the band prides itself in a repertoire without horizon.”
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go Who and what: Cape Ann Big Band performs Veterans Day concert. When: Sunday, Nov. 11 from at 3 p.m. Where: The Gloucester House on Rogers Street How much: $20; tickets may be purchased at the Gloucester House or by calling Connie Condon at 978-283-4098. Organizers hope that people will buy tickets in advance but tickets will also be available at the door.