Arts and Entertainment

Ellis Marsalis Quintet Concert to Support Housing for Homeless

By Riki Rieksts Bolster

The Ellis Marsalis Quintet, featuring sons Jason and Delfeayo, is coming for a one-night concert at the Rich Auditorium of the Woodruff Arts Center on April 27 at 8:00pm. Marsalis is patriarch of a jazz family, which includes sons Wynton and Branford. Two unusual producers are bringing this special event to Atlanta.

Grant Park resident Paul Bolster, volunteer executive director of the Urban Residential Development Corporation (URDC) and long-time affordable housing advocate, and Noel Kendrick, founder and CEO of Cher/Sum Productions, and a former drummer who has played with Marsalis family members, have teamed up for this event. For both, it is their first venture into the music production business in Atlanta. Both are in it for the cause — housing for people in need.

URDC owns and manages the largest, and one of the oldest, supportive housing projects in the city. The Santa Fe Villas has a 20-year history of providing homeless people the opportunity to take their first step off the street with a key to their own place.

Kendrick, who serves on the board of URDC, knows what it is like to be homeless and on the streets. “The drugs took me down to the bottom. I am back now with the help of lots of caring people and I want to extend my support and make an opportunity for the next guy. We have to keep the Santa Fe going for all the people who need a hand up like I got.” Kendrick credits the Atlanta 24/7 Gateway Center’s recovery program and his mentor, Tony Stone, for the turn-around in his life. He is a certified peer support specialist working full time.

“Despite little production experience, we have created an Atlanta event for America’s ‘First Family of Jazz.’ At $75, I know we will sell all the tickets,” says Kendrick, “but we need a few good-hearted sponsors who want to support our mission and the Marsalis family’s musical contributions to the history of jazz. We are bringing the arts to the housing cause.”

 “Rents don’t pay all the bills of the Santa Fe,” says Bolster, “so I am taking on the producer’s risk, but with a partner who knows the music business and knows Ellis. Together, we are bringing to Atlanta a jazz legend who only improves with age, to revive a program that gives people a place to call home.”

Tickets are available at www.WoodruffCenter.org. For more information, contact Paul Bolster at 404-664-0059 or bolsterp@bellsouth.net.