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New Orleans looms large in the American popular imagination. A gumbo of European, Afro-Caribbean and Native American influences, the atmospheric city has nurtured many of the South’s great musical creatives and exudes an attitude all its own.

The art of guitarist and vocalist Marcel Anton was shaped by the city in all its quirky glory. But the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina led him to Asheville, where he’s established himself as a dynamic and versatile performer steeped in the many styles he’s made his own during his musical journey. He and his band will perform at White Horse Black Mountain on Friday, Feb. 3.

Of Native American and Creole descent, Anton’s heritage is as eclectic as his music. Music, healing and vision rooted in his sense of place along with exposure to Jewish, Christian and Native American mysticism helped shape his world view from an early age. Raised by show business parents (Mom was a Rockette, Dad on the business side), he had a peripatetic childhood, but life centered around New Orleans.  Anton originally planned to be a scientist, but the arts called more strongly, and he went on to study with musical giants like Gil Evans, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schiffrin and guitarists Larry Coryell, Joe Pass and Pat Martino. Charlie Allen of the classic rock band Pacific Gas and Electric heard Marcel’s work and brought him to California where he gained experience with PG&E, later working with major artists as diverse as blues greats Albert and Freddie King, Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison, the Jazz Crusaders, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. John and many more.

Jazz, New Orleans funk, R&B, blues, rock and world music are all part of the musical arsenal Anton calls up at will. His performances of both originals and covers are flamboyant and theatrical.

Big Easy rocker

Who: Marcel Anton

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 3

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $10 advance, $12 door

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