Carlos Menezes Jr. teamed up with friends and fellow musicians Paula Burns, Shawn Lowe, Mike Lentini and Rick Geraghty to form the 17-piece Cape Ann Big Band in 2010. What was once a dream quickly became reality when Menezes, the band's director, 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 the local community. For Menezes, one of the great joys of the ensemble is the generational diversity among its members. 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.
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. This season's repertoire will feature a number of vocal and instrumental standards from the "Golden era" of swing, pop tunes, and a number of show-tunes derived from popular films. "Moondance", "Wonderwall", Van Halen's "Jump", "Take the A Train", Glenn Miller's "In the Mood", and a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Basie are just a few of the charts in this season's repertoire. As one quickly learns, the organization, success, and mobility of any ensemble is only made possible by the efforts of its participants.
This is a group that truly operates as a family. Members include Mark Earley, Nick Capello, Ed Biggs, Steve Silva and Carlos Menezes Jr., on saxophone; Shawn Lowe, Arthur Adamson, Rick Naso and John Persson on trumpet; Paula Burns, Tom Madore, Dana Cohen and Ben Tuck on trombone; Rick Geraghty on drums; Chris Bodek and Zach Gorrell on piano; Gary Wolsieffer, on bass; Christian Towler on guitar; and guest vocalists Renne Dupuis and Nathan Seavey
The North Shore Jazz Project All Stars, a student big band of select membership from high schools throughout the North Shore, is directed by Michael Tucker, saxophonist and Berklee College of Music graduate and teacher.
The Larcom Theatre was built in 1912 (the same year as Boston's Fenway Park) by brothers Harris and Glover Ware (vaudeville musicians from Marblehead, MA) on the birth site of their favorite poet, Lucy Larcom.
The Larcom Theatre's grand opening advertised that its interior was lit completely by electricity.
During its 108 year history, The Larcom Theatre has presented stage, screen and musical entertainment. In 1984 the Larcom's elegant horseshoe balcony, hand-painted antique pressed tin ceilings and original silk wall coverings were restored to their original glory by Le Grand David Magic Company, who presented their award-winning magic show there until the company's founder, Cesareo Pelaez, died in 2012.
In April 2013, after the Larcom Theatre had been dark for about a year, Vickie and Peter Van Ness of gimmeLIVE produced a sold-out Mardi Gras Benefit Concert that filled the Larcom Theatre with music for the first time since the days of Vaudeville.
In 2014, gimmeLIVE began bringing Grammy-winning national touring and recording artists and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers to the Larcom, which ushered in a new era of top quality entertainment in the heart of downtown Beverly, MA. GIMMELIVE concerts at the Larcom Theatre received stellar reviews for the quality of both the music and the sound system installed by gimmeLIVE.
Later in 2014, Peter and Vickie co-produced That's When I Know It's Mardi Gras, a live CD recorded in front of a sold-out audience at the Larcom Theatre featuring New Orleans vocalist Henri Smith with Grammy Award-winners Charles Neville and Amadee Castenell.
In 2015, gimmeLIVE once again recorded a live CD featuring the James Montgomery Band, which was released in November of that year. GIMMELIVE also hosted James Montgomery's "Live at the Larcom" CD Release Benefit Concert, which raised money for veterans organizations. (Many gimmeLIVE shows raise money for charity. Click here if you'd like gimmeLIVE to produce a concert or festival to raise money for your organization.)
In early 2017, gimmeLIVE took over the building adjoining the Larcom Theatre (at 9 Wallis Street), formerly owned by members of Le Grand David Magic Company and known as the Grand Salon. GIMMELIVE transformed this venue into 9 Wallis, which is now the North Shore's most intimate, elegant listening room offering comfortable show seating at tables with food & beverage service, including fine wines, local craft beers, specialty cocktails (featuring local distilleries and all-natural juices) and top-shelf spirits.
Because of its beautifully restored, tremendously flexible space with the best dance floor on Boston's North Shore, 9 Wallis has become a favorite venue for fundraisers, private parties and corporate events. Local charities have raised thousands of dollars at 9 Wallis (see examples). With world-class entertainment, an event can begin as a cocktail party or fully seated dinner...then transform into a nightclub-style dance party with concert quality sound and stage lighting. Click here to inquire about booking a fundraiser, party or corporate event at 9 Wallis.
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