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September 18, 2013

Concert a boost for Peabody Cultural Collaborative

PEABODY — The Peabody Cultural Collaborative hopes Roomful of Blues leads not just to a roomful of people, but also reinvigorated excitement in the city’s downtown.

For its first major fundraiser since gaining nonprofit status over the summer, the collaborative will bring the jazz, swing and blues music of Roomful of Blues to City Hall’s Wiggin Auditorium Oct. 4.

“It’s a first in the city to have a blues band of this caliber,” said Jacky Ankeles, a board member of the collaborative and chairwoman of the organization’s Concert Committee. “It’s exciting because we’re so used to having to go someplace else for this kind of music.”

Ankeles described the band, made up of seven musicians and one vocalist, as a blend of jump, blues and soul, swing and rock ’n’ roll.

“They’re also known for their horn section — their horn section is incredible,” she said. “They’re going to be great because the acoustics at the Wiggin is superb.”

Roomful of Blues is also celebrating its 45th anniversary this year — although its membership has changed over the years. It was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

“The band is really an institution in the blues music world,” Ankeles said. “They’ve got over 20 albums to their credit.”

The Peabody Veterans Memorial High School Jazz Band will open the show.

“For the students to be playing on the same bill as such a prestigious jazz band — it’s a great chance for them,” Ankeles said.

The collaborative hopes that the money the concert raises will help it promote homegrown musicians, artists and events — and the city in general.

According to Susan Ring Brown, a volunteer with the collaborative, the group got its start when different organizations within the city began to talk about how they could support each other.

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