Jazz saxophonist joins event lineup

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Branford Marsalis will perform at Payback (celebrate James Brown) music festival in May.

The Augusta Museum of History has confirmed that jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis will join the previously announced Soul Generals on the bill at the Payback (celebrate James Brown) music festival May 3 at the Augusta Common.

A member of the acclaimed New Orleans jazz family -- his father, Ellis, is a pianist and brother Wynton co-founded the Jazz at Lincoln Center program -- Mr. Marsalis has garnered attention for his innovative approach to jazz and diverse musical interests. In the past, he has performed with his combo and Sting, the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. He also helped found, with fellow New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr., the Habitat for Humanity Musician's Village, currently under construction. The village will provide housing for performers displaced after Hurricane Katrina.

"There has always been a relationship among jazz, blues and the traditional music heard in black churches in the South," Mr. Marsalis said in a statement. "Nowhere is that more clear than in the music of James Brown. Just as his music was informed by those relationships, including jazz of the 1930s, so is modern jazz influenced by him. In some ways our performance at Payback brings the music full circle."

The Payback festival is being scheduled as an all-day event to take place in conjunction with the museum's opening of a large-scale exhibit focusing on Mr. Brown. Tickets will be $30.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.