Jazz-n-Q: Home-Grown Jazz with New Orleans Style

By Kristin Boza 

Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl., is holding its 3rd annual Jazz-n-Q event Sun., Jul. 22, 4 to 6 p.m. in the south courtyard of the church. Featuring Lance Loiselle, director of music at Beverly/Morgan Park Community Choir and Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, as well as a CPS elementary school teacher, and half of the members of his nationally-recognized band, the LowDown Brass Band, everyone in the community is invited to partake in free BBQ and delightful music on a pleasant Sunday. 

The LowDown Brass Band offers an exciting take on New Orleans-style jazz, featuring trumpets, trombones, saxophones, drums, and a sousaphone. Loiselle says he first became interested in New Orleans brass band music while still in high school after a friend had him listen to The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans-based group.  

“I was blown away with how they could improvise, sound so funky, and combine all these great styles of music — but that is the sound of the music from New Orleans — it’s the great melting pot because so many cultures intersect,” he said. “I was already interested in jazz music through playing the piano, but this combination of sounds and energy just blew my mind.”  

As Loiselle entered college, he became even more obsessed with the signature sound. After graduate school, he started the LowDown Brass Band. Through annual visits to New Orleans, Loiselle has cultivated friendships with musicians and performed there several times.  

Loiselle is not surprised that he made a career out of music; his mother, Frances Loiselle, was the biggest musical influence in his life. “I followed her passion for teaching and directing, and to this day I carry her legacy through [my work],” he said. “I advise aspiring musicians to be patient, put in the work, and never give up.” 

Learning music is not easy, especially in an ‘instant gratification’ environment, according to Loiselle. “So many kids … don’t have the patience for things they aren’t good at immediately,” he said. “With learning music, you need to be patient and put in the work to get better as a player through practice, lessons, and playing with others. Remember, in the arts or with your dreams, if you quit, that is when you lose. Surround yourself with people who are better than you and will challenge you to be better.” 

Last year, Jazz-n-Q drew a crowd of nearly 100 people, and more are expected this year. “The people are super friendly and fun; the community loves the camaraderie and the free food doesn’t hurt either!” Loiselle said. “It’s a community event for everyone; just bring a chair and sunscreen, sit out on the lawn, eat some great BBQ and listen to world-class jazz musicians.” 

Loiselle will also be selling his latest CD at the event; ‘Sound’ is a collaboration with former Mt. Carmel Dean of Students the Rev. “Padre” Benjamin Aguilar, O. Carm. “‘Sound’ is an interesting yet dark portrayal about teenage bullying. It was super fun to make and collaborate with Padre Aguilar, and I am really proud and blessed with this opportunity,” he said. All proceeds from the sale of the CD will be donated to the music program at Morgan Park Presbyterian Church. 

To stay up-to-date on the event as it approaches, visit www.MorganParkPres.org/events/jazz-n-q.