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Mardi Gras Arrives Late This Year In Peekskill

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Jazz musicians aren't known for punctuality, so it wasn't too surprising that a Mardi Gras celebration was being held two weeks after Fat Tuesday in the city.

A handful of area jazz musicians led by international recording artist and Peekskill resident Ray Blue made a musical entrance at the gazebo on North Division Street Saturday evening to begin a night of festivities to raise money for his Cross Cultural Connections organization

The band and a small contingent of city residents made their way down the street (see video here) to the Elk's lodge on Brown Street for a fundraising event.

The non-profit was created by Blue and works to foster a love of jazz music in young people around the world. Blue has been conducting the pro-am concerts in Peekskill for four years but said he’s been doing it for the last eight years in places like Iowa and Illinois and countries such as France, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Germany, France and Finland.

The pro-ams bring in young people from local high schools, including Peekskill and area colleges, for workshops and work to develop a program for an open air concert at the end of the term. The program will be held again in Peekskill this summer and Blue said he is still looking for sponsors and donations.

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