Thursday February 7, 2013

GREENFIELD, Mass. -- The Arts Block is presenting a Mardi Gras dance party on Saturday at 8 p.m., and it’s a chance to do some good while having a good time.

One of the featured performers, Brattleboro-based vocalist Samirah Evans, suffered a chimney fire on Feb. 2 and will be displaced for several months. This show is a benefit to help Evans get back on her feet after the fire.

The show features area favorites Samirah Evans & Her Handsome Devils. Opening the evening will be the driving, Cajun dance band, the Lil’ Orphans Cajun Express. Come dressed in your Mardi Gras best as there will be a prize for the best outfit.

Evans has been thrilling audiences in the Northeast since moving from New Orleans to New England in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her repertoire runs the gamut from raunchy blues to jazz smooth as silk. She recently released her third CD, "Hot Club" with her band, Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils. Evans created and hosts the music series "Ladies in Jazz" at the Arts Block. She has toured Europe, Asia, and North and South America as a headliner, and shared stages with B.B. King, James Brown and New Orleans’ Queen of Soul, Irma Thomas.

The Lil Orphans Cajun Express is led by New Orleans native Peter Simoneaux and his wife Linda Simoneaux. The Cajun Express has opened for Buckwheat Zydeco, and Peter Simoneaux is well known as an instructor in Cajun dance. The band includes Steve Frankel on guitar, Glenn Rodgers on drums, Daniel Kasnitz on bass and Xzander Kasnitz on percussion.

Admission is $12 online or $15 at the door. The Arts Block is located at 289 Main St. For more information, and tickets, visit www.theartsblock.com or cal 413-774-0150.