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Blues Brothers musician Lou Marini Jr. will perform at Shelton State jazz festival

Tuscaloosa News 3/21/2023 Ken Roberts, The Tuscaloosa News
Lou Marini Jr., Blues Brothers, Jazz musician. © Gary Cosby Jr., Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News Lou Marini Jr., Blues Brothers, Jazz musician.

An accomplished musician who has played with the "Saturday Night Live" and Blues Brothers bands will perform this weekend in a concert with the Shelton State Jazz Ensemble.

The concert featuring Lou Marini Jr., who plays soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute and clarinet, will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Bean Brown Theatre on the Shelton College Community College's Martin campus, 9500 Old Greensboro Road. Tickets cost $5 and are available at Theatre Tuscaloosa's website,

The performance will conclude the fourth annual West Alabama High School Jazz Festival, which begins at 9 a.m. Participating high school bands will perform selections for audience members and participate in master class sessions with Marini. The high school band performances are free to attend.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to host Lou Marini Jr. at the fourth annual festival,” said Lillian Roberts, Shelton State’s fine arts division chair and faculty member.  “In addition to providing a high level, jazz-focused learning experience for local students, this year’s event promises to be a treat for artists and audience members alike.  We encourage our community members to join us for this.”

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Marini spent seven years with the band on the original "Saturday Night Live." Marini's sax solos would also open and close each episode of the late-night comedy show.

One of Marini's high-profile performances on "SNL" came on the April 22, 1978, show with comedian Steve Martin. During the performance of Martin's song "King Tut," Marini emerged from a sarcophagus with his face painted gold and wearing full Egyptian regalia while playing a solo.

His association with the Blues Brothers began on "SNL," when cast members Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi would use the show's band to perform as Elwood and Joliet Jake Blues.

Nicknamed "Blue Lou" by Aykroyd, Marini toured as a member of the Blues Brothers band and performed on the 1978 album "Briefcase Full of Blues," which hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart and spawned the hit single "Soul Man."

Marini then joined the cast of the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers." He portrayed one of the musicians sought by Belushi's character in his quest to "put the band back together." In his most notable scene in the movie, Marini goes from diner employee to sax player while Aretha Franklin sings "Think!"

He also was part of the cast in the sequel, "Blues Brothers 2000."

As a much-sought after side musician, Marini has performed on albums by some of the music industry's biggest stars, including the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bill Joel, Jimmy Buffett and Steely Dan.

He's toured with such musical luminaries as Blood, Sweat and Tears, Doc Severinsen, James Taylor, the Band and Eric Clapton and has performed with Smokey Robinson, Sting and Tina Turner.

Marini also continues to record and perform with members of the Blues Brothers band.

For more information about the West Alabama High School Jazz Festival, email Lillian Wesley at

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Blues Brothers musician Lou Marini Jr. will perform at Shelton State jazz festival

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