Blind Boys of Alabama. Photo by Dino Perrucci

Blind Boys Of Alabama, Irma Thomas Team Up For Gentilly School Benefit

This Sunday, the Orpheum Theater will host a bevy of distinguished local performers to raise money for a preschool in Gentilly.

July 22’s Summer Gospel and Soul Celebration features Blind Boys of Alabama, Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville, Mem Shannon, Cornell Williams, Tom Worrell and more. The award-winning lineup is rallying together to raise money for Educare, a year-round school catering to over 160 families of children between the ages of six weeks and five-years-old.

As reported by the Advocate, Sunday’s benefit concert comes on the heels of the Grammy-winning Blind Boys’ visit to Educare before the gospel group’s performance at this year’s Jazz Fest.

Educare New Orleans is operated by Kingsley House and is the only one of Educare’s 24 nationwide facilities located in the Deep South. The Tulane School of Public Health is one of the facility’s partners. “Through its Gulf Coast Teacher Training Academy, Educare also offers free training to Louisiana’s early childhood educators,” writes John Wirt.

The evening’s musical director is Terence Higgins, who says of Educare New Orleans “I’m totally impressed with the facility. Early childhood development is really important. And nowadays it’s so expensive to get the right education for these kids early on. I have a 5-year-old, so I’m dealing with that myself. Educare is for lower-income families and it really helps the kids.”

Sunday’s Summer Gospel and Soul Celebration kicks off with a 6 p.m. VIP reception featuring music from Seth Walker. The main event begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $38.50-$73.50 and are available here.