DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — If you want to take in the sounds of the French Quarter, you don’t need to go far. Calhoun Community College (CCC) and the Alabama Center for the Arts (ACA) are bringing jazz music to Decatur.

On Thursday, October 27 the groups will present “New Orleans, Then and Now” at the Princess Theatre. The free concert starts at 7:00pm.

It will feature Jason Marsalis, who is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford, and Delfeayo.

In addition to the free show, there will be an educational clinic and an afterparty jam session.

“It’s not every day that a Marsalis comes to our community, and the price is right, it’s absolutely free and it’s great for any age, any background,” said Matt Leder, a music instructor at Calhoun. “There’s something about New Orleans music that gets the foot tapping.”

New Orleans-style jazz is unique, Leder said.

“You’ve got the front line, that entails the trumpet that takes the melody, you’ve got the clarinet or soprano saxophone that kind of does the ornamentation behind things and you’ve got the trombone that does the tailgating classic sound of New Orleans to bring everybody together,” Leder explained.

He said he’s personally looking forward to the jam session.

“If you’re a musician and want to bring your horn or sing and join in the music, you’re more than welcome,” he concluded.

Here is the full schedule of events:

  • 10 a.m.: Educational workshop/Q&A session with Jason Marsalis at the Alabama Center for the Arts, located at 133 2nd Ave NE in Decatur
  • 7 p.m.: “New Orleans, Then and Now” concert at the Princess Theatre featuring Jason Marsalis and surprise musical guests (music includes traditional and more modern New Orleans styles)
  • After-party jam session immediately following the concert in Downtown Decatur at The Brick (112 Moulton St E, Decatur, AL 35601). Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments or voice to join in the musical selections.
  • Aside from Marsalis, favorites such as La’Ray Bodiford (Tenor Saxophone), Roland Barber (Trombone), Abe Becker (Bass), Jonathan Fonbar (Piano), Myles Probus (Vocal/Piano), as well as Matt Leder (Trumpet/Cornet/Flugelhorn). Local musicians Josh Couts (guitar) and Alan Shaw (drums) will also perform during the after-party jam session.