Lou Marini

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Lou Marini
Lou Marini.JPG
Lou Marini at the Hamar Music Festival 2007, in Hamar, Hedmark, Norway
Background information
Born (1945-05-13) May 13, 1945 (age 71)
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Instruments Saxophone, clarinet, flute
Years active 1960–present
Associated acts Blood, Sweat and Tears,
Buddy Rich Band,
Woody Herman Orchestra
Saturday Night Live Band,
The Blues Brothers,
James Taylor Band
Steely Dan,
Frank Zappa,
Magic City Jazz Orchestra
Website http://blueloumarini.com/

Louis "Lou" Marini, Jr. (born May 13, 1945) is an American saxophonist, arranger and composer. He is noted for his work in the jazz, rock, blues and soul music traditions, and more popularly, for being an original member of the Blues Brothers band as well as featuring in the eponymous movie in 1980.

Early life and range of musical experience[edit]

Marini graduated from Fairless High School in Navarre, Ohio. His father, Lou Marini, Sr., was the head band director at Fairless and created the school's "Alma Mater" (official song). Each year, Fairless High still bestows the Lou Marini Award in honor of his father's work. Lou Marini, Sr. died in May 2008. Both Lou Marini Sr. and Lou Marini Jr. were inducted into the Fairless Alumni Association Hall of Honor in May 2010. In June 2010, he was named artistic director at the first Brianza Blues Festival, in Villa Reale (Monza, Italy).[1] Lou Jr. attended the North Texas State University, where he played in the famed One O'Clock Lab Band. Following graduation, he gigged as a professional musician and eventually became a member of Blood, Sweat and Tears. He was a member of the Saturday Night Live house band from 1975 to 1983 and appeared in the movie The Blues Brothers and in the sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of "Blue Lou" (a name given to him by Dan Aykroyd). He also played on Frank Zappa's 1977 album Zappa in New York, and has worked with a diverse range of artists such as Dionne Warwick, Maureen McGovern, Deodato, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Aerosmith, the Buddy Rich Big Band, and the Woody Herman Orchestra.

Left to Right: Lou Marini, Ray Reach and the late Ernie Stires at a reception following a Carnegie Hall concert which featured the music of Trey Anastasio and Ernie Stires, 2004.

First recording as a leader[edit]

Marini has spent most of his professional life working as a sideman and arranger. In 2001, Marini recorded his first recording as a leader, with Ray Reach and the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, titled "Lou's Blues" (released 2003). This recording features his arrangements and compositions, many of which have become favorites for the Lab Bands at the University of North Texas. The liner notes[2] of the CD were written by Grammy Award winning composer / arranger / producer Bob Belden. Lou is currently working on a new CD project, again collaborating with Ray Reach, with vocals by his son, Lou Marini III.

New recording[edit]

On March 23, 2010, Marini released a new recording titled The Blue Lou and Misha Project - Highly Classified, a collaboration with Israeli pianist and composer Misha Segal.

Compositions and arrangements[edit]

Marini's works as an arranger and composer display many influences, including the work of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones and Don Ellis, as well as rock, pop and avant garde stylistic elements. For example, his composition, "Hip Pickles," originally written for Blood, Sweat and Tears, is described by reviewer Jack Bowers[3] of AllAboutJazz.com, as follows: "Marini's unorthodox notions surface on "Hip Pickles," whose "free" intro gives way to a melody played by screaming trumpets and Clapton-like guitar, prefacing a stormy interchange between Marini (alto) and Tom Wolfe [on guitar]."[4]

Bob Hensley of Los Angeles, California, wrote in a review:

Lou Marini, Jr. is an unsung jazz hero. Ask any top New York jazz musician who Lou Marini is, and they will tell you he's one of the absolute best jazz musicians in New York. Yet, because he has made a name for himself as a sideman in various high profile pop groups (Steely Dan, James Taylor, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Saturday Night Live Band, the Blues Brothers, etc.), he is all but ignored by the jazz press. This is wrong, because "Lou's Blues" displays Lou Marini's incredible talent and skill as both a composer and as a multi-woodwind player of the highest possible calibre. Lou has a lot to say, and all should listen.[5]


  • 2004 Lou's Blues
  • 2010 Highly Classified
  • 2012 Starmaker

In addition to his solo projects, since the early 1970s, Marini has been one of the most sought-after session musicians on the New York scene. He is admired and respected by his peers as a master of many styles, including jazz, R&B, soul and classical. An abbreviated listing of some of the recording projects in which he has participated included:


  1. ^ "Lou Marini alla Villa Reale: «Sono ancora in missione per conto del Blues» - Corriere della Sera". Corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived December 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ [2] Archived April 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Lou Marini & the Magic City Jazz Orchestra: Lou's Blues". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Lou Marini - Lou's Blues CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2004-02-24. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 

External links[edit]