Mass. music festival to honor saxophonist Charles Neville

Charles Neville on stage with The Neville Brothers  during the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2008.
Charles Neville on stage with The Neville Brothers during the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. –AP Photo / Dave Martin

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Charles Neville, the legendary saxophone player for the Neville Brothers, is being honored by an annual music festival in Massachusetts.

The fifth Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival that opens Saturday has been designated a living monument to Neville, who died in April at age 79.

The festival was co-founded by Neville’s wife, Kristin Neville.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Nevilles’ home city of New Orleans, Kristin worked with musicians and nonprofits there to help get artists back on their feet. Struck by the historical, cultural, and economic parallels between the two river cities, she was inspired to establish the Springfield festival.

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Springfield’s mayor will offer a proclamation and the family will pause the program for a ceremonial moment and to dedicate the festival’s main stage in Charles Neville’s name.

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