"It's not your traditional jazz, but we're giving them what they like and just improvising over it."
Folks at the Charleston Jazz Series liked the idea and so did Larry Groce, who heads FestivAll, which is kicking off its first FestivAll Fall today.
Courts said Thompson, the longtime pianist for Mountain Stage, which Groce hosts, actually pushed him to go ahead with the idea and the result is the Late Night House Party, scheduled for Saturday night at the Clay Center's Walker Theater.
Courts recruited some local talent for the event, including spoken word artist Jamella "North Starr" Brown and Cameran Penn, whose stage name is Cam P.
"We've gotten together and we've created some hip grooves and some tunes to rap songs. Cam is an excellent singer and he can rap. Jamella is going to do poetry over jazz."
"This is new to us, so we have ideas and concepts, but it's going to be a whole lot improvised," Courts said. "We're just going to throw it out there."
The late-night hour is designed to appeal to the younger set who might be accustomed to visiting clubs later at night, but Courts said by no means is this a young-adults-only show.
"I think it's going to reach beyond generations," he said. "Everybody will be able to identify with what they know. Traditional jazz lovers will see their element, but the younger folks will see their element, too.
"This is not going to be the end of this," Courts added. "We're looking at ways to incorporate this whole thing into what Bob does. A lot of people have told me they are coming. But even if they don't come out that night, I think at some point they would come to another event like it."
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.