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Jason Marsalis bringing all that jazz to the River City

DECATUR — Jazz drummer Jason Marsalis will be the special guest next week for Calhoun Community College Fine Arts Division’s “New Orleans, Then and Now” concert.

The free concert begins 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Princess Theatre in downtown Decatur.

“We are shaking things up here at the college, and I thought what better way to do that than to bring my long-time friend, Jason, as well as some very special surprise music guests, to put on an amazing concert for the community,” said music instructor Dr. Matt Leder. “As a new instructor to this program, I am tasked with recruiting new talent for the college’s new showband.

“I am encouraging all aspiring musicians to attend the 10 a.m. educational music workshop and Q&A session with Jason Marsalis to gain insight into today’s music industry.”

The three-part program counts off with a 10 a.m. educational workshop and Q&A session with Marsalis at the Alabama Center for the Arts.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Princess Theatre and features traditional and modern New Orleans styles. Tenor sax player La’Ray Bodiford; trombonist Roland Barber; bassist Abe Becker; and Jonathan Fonbar on piano will also perform. Pianist and vocalist Myles Probus will join Leder on trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn.

An after-party jam session with guitarist Josh Couts and drummer Alan Shaw will follow at The Brick in downtown Decatur. Musicians are encouraged to join the jam.

Marsalis is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford, and Delfeayo Marsalis. Together, the four brothers and their patriarch comprise New Orleans’s venerable first family of jazz. In 2011, they were named Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts.

He graduated from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and studied percussion at Loyola University New Orleans. Marsalis then worked as a sideman in mainstream jazz, funk, and jazz fusion groups, and played Celtic music with Beth Patterson.

This event was made possible by the Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation and Calhoun Community College.

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