Jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis is coming to Atlanta at the end of April. He'll be joined by his quintet and two of his sons.
The two concert organizers aren't in the business of entertainment but of advocacy. One is Paul Bolster, a longtime affordable housing advocate and the volunteer executive director of the Urban Residential Development. The other is Noel Kendrick. As a drummer, he used to perform with Ellis Marsalis but then experienced homelessness firsthand.
“All of my friends, the Marsalis family and all the people I performed with afforded me to keep going right,” Kendrick said in an interview with WABE's Lois Reitzes. “I decided to take a left.”
Because of his addiction and mental illness, Kendrick landed in jail and was then homeless. But after finding support through a recovery program, he is now a peer mentor for people on their own treks to recovery and housing.
Proceeds from the Ellis Marsalis Quintet concert will benefit Santa Fe Villas, a supportive housing project. That concert is Thursday, April 27 in the Rich Auditorium at the Woodruff Arts Center at 8 p.m.