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Blues Brothers’ ‘Blue Lou’ will headline jazz festival at Shelton

Shelton State Community College will host the Fourth Annual West Alabama High School Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 25, 2023. Per tradition, the festival will be a full day event starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Bean- Brown Theatre on the College’s Martin Campus. Free and open to the public, the day’s festivities will conclude with a finale concert featuring the Shelton State Jazz Ensemble and platinum recording artist Lou Marini, Jr.

Popular since the early 1970s, Lou Marini, Jr. continues to be one of the most sought-after sidemen and session musicians on the New York scene. Due in part to his incredible skill and talent of the highest caliber, Marini masters many styles and instruments. He is accomplished on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute and clarinet.

Dubbed “Blue Lou” by Dan Akroyd, it is Marini’s seven-year association as an original SNL band member that led to his role as “Blue Lou” in John Belushi and Akroyd’s cult classic movie, “The Blues Brothers.” To this day, the remarkable popularity of the Blues Brothers Band is kept alive. Lou and the other band members tour worldwide, giving live concerts to packed houses and hundreds of thousands screaming fans. No stranger to film, Lou Marini enjoys a formidable roster of success in this arena, too. His character as a band member and the saxophone soloist, who performs with his sax on the counter of a diner as Aretha Franklin sings “Think” in “The Blues Brothers” movie remains throughout the sequel “Blue Brothers 2000.” Marini is also well-recognized for his saxophone solos at the open and close of SNL episodes and as the golden pharaoh who plays a solo instrumental hit for comedian Steve Martin’s “King Tut” sketch on a 1978 episode.

Blue Lou is best known as a member of several distinguished bands – Woody Herman Orchestra, Doc Severinson, Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Band, Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars, Dr. John, Frank Zappa, Saturday Night Live (SNL) Band, The Blues Brothers, Maureen McGovern, Lew Soloff Quintet, BlueBeck with Joe Beck, Eric Clapton, Red House, and the Magic City Jazz Orchestra. He has toured four times each with James Taylor’s Band of Legends and the John Tropea Band.

A high profile cultural icon, Marini has recorded on numerous albums with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Aerosmith, Maureen McGovern, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Luther Vandross, Lou Reed, Brecker Brothers, Dr. John, Donald Fagan, Eddie Palmieri, Jimmy Buffet, Frank Zappa, John Tropea, and Steely Dan. Contrasting, yet notable icons he has also performed with include Eric Clapton Smokey Robinson, Jose Carreras, Lou Rawls, The Supremes, Dr. John, Four Tops, Sting, and Tina Turner.

Participating high school bands will perform selections for audience members and participate in master class sessions with Marini. All performances are free and open to the public, including the Finale Concert. For more information about the Fourth Annual West Alabama High School Jazz Festival, contact Lillian Roberts at 205.391.2399 or lroberts@sheltonstate.edu