Stellar saxophonist Lou Marini will be the guest artist at the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble's spring concert


Image: Lou Marini

Lou Marini, a legendary saxophonist known to many as part of the "Saturday Night Live" and Blues Brothers bands, will be the guest artist for the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble's spring concert on Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Fairfield University's Director of Jazz and Popular Music Brian Torff, a noted bassist and composer, will lead the ensemble through a program of standards and innovative new works, including his own "Jazz Spies." Some student compositions on the program are: "Twist Party" by drum student Aaron Milazzo; "Manteca" arranged by trombone student Brendan Hermalyn; and "No Voy a Ser Tu Escalvo" arranged by piano student Nicholas Young.

One of the music industry's most prolific performers, Marini has electrified audiences around the world. A seasoned artist, arranger and composer, he is equally at home with jazz, rock, blues and classical on the soprano, alto and tenor sax, as well as the flute, piccolo, alto flute and clarinet.

"Mr. Marini moves through these various settings with chameleon-like adaptability, playing with a strong, full projection and rich, perceptive shading in whatever style he happens to find himself," wrote John Wilson for The New York Times.

Born in 1945 in South Carolina, Marini grew up in Ohio and attended North Texas State University, where he performed in the acclaimed One O'Clock Lab Band and later served on the faculty. One of the original members of the Saturday Night Live Band, he played on the show from 1976 to 1983, often with the show's many musical guests.

Marini returned to television as the sax soloist for Billy Preston's band on "Nightlife," hosted by comedian David Brenner, and has appeared on David Letterman's late-night shows, the Grammys, and several network specials, such as Aretha Franklin's duet special and a well-received program highlighting AIDS foundations featuring Dionne Warwick and Elton John.

In 1980, Marini joined John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd as "Blue Lou" in the cult film favorite "The Blues Brothers," following that up with Blues Brothers tours worldwide. He has also had a hand in writing and playing in such films as "Hair," "The Wiz," "Bright Lights, Big City," "Turner and Hooch" and his most recent, "A Family Thing" with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones.

Over the years, Marini has recorded with a diverse group of top musicians and bands, including Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Tony Bennett, Frank Zappa, Aerosmith, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Donald Fagen, Lou Reed and José Carreras. He continues to perform and record with his own big band and released his latest album "Lou's Blues," in January.

The Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble is an accomplished group of University students who often invite notable guest artists to join them in concert. Past guests have included pianist James Williams, drummer Jaimoe and members of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Spyro Gyra.

Tickets to the Jazz Ensemble concert are $8, $5 for students. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website at www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 19, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 235