Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) Jam
Irvin Mayfield, Jr. (b. December 23, 1977) is an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader. He has been serving as Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana since 2003.
Mayfield began his musical career during the latter half of the 1980s, playing with the Algiers Brass Band, a traditional New Orleans based street act. His early work with the band was educational for him. In the late 1990s he shared an apartment in New York City with Wynton Marsalis for a brief period. Wynton was already an accomplished recording artist at the time.
As a young man he attended and graduated from NOCCA, acquiring a scholarship to the famous Juilliard School of Music based in New York City. Instead of accepting the scholarship, at the behest of Ellis Marsalis, he decided to attend University of New Orleans instead (where Ellis ran the jazz studies department).
His recording debut with Los Hombres Calientes was
a success, and Mayfield gained national recognition as a result.
In the fall of 2002 Mayfield founded the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University, having been an artist-in-residence there since 1995. The mission of the Institute is to combine several educational approaches toward jazz music, offering courses which combine music with politics and culture. Much of the inspiration for founding the Institute came from Mayfield's time spent living with Marsalis as Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, wondering why New Orleans did not have such a place.
In December 2002 Mayfield founded the sixteen-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, of which he still serves as artistic director, a jazz ensemble. Dedicated to education in the performing arts. Proceeds from events related to the group help to fund organizational expenditures, and the ensemble originally worked out of the Institute of Jazz at Dillard University.
Mayfield serves as bandleader, and other members have included Evan Christopher, among others. As of January 2006, the new home of the orchestra has been at Tulane University. The orchestra also has a residency program at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) that includes educational workshops, performances and commissioned musical pieces for debut in Newark, New Jersey. Currently the orchestra is performing New Orleans: Then and Now nationwide, featuring selections from the early years of jazz in New Orleans as well as some penned by Mayfield himself. Mayfield believes strongly that supporting the orchestra helps put the musicians of New Orleans back to work.
In 2005 he joined Wynton Marsalis and a host of other musicians at the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. New York Times jazz critic Jon Pareles wrote in an article on the event, "The concert's most touching moment was a performance by the New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield. His father, he said, is still among the missing.
He played "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," the hymn that becomes both dirge and celebration at New Orleans funerals." Mayfield's father was found dead the next day in an area near Elysian Fields Avenue (a victim of drowning). Three months later DNA evidence officially confirmed the identity of the body.
As you can see in the pictures, I really loved it. There was a good vibe between the musicians and the are also top musicians. A very hight level musically and technical.
I knew a lot of the songs they played and the audience really enjoyed it. Irvin is a true performer and he wants the audience to be a part of the concert. I was also very surprised to hear them singing but it was amazing. The students I guess whom joined them at the end where very talented and modest about them self, very nice to see/ hear.
At the end of the concert you couldn't be seated any more. The music got the people on there feet dancing! The drummer was amazing as a drummer but also as a singer. The also jammed their way through the lyrics sometimes what made it sometimes very funny.
It was truly one of the highlights of my visit in NO, LA! The playhouse that's Irvin own is very very nice. Great atmosphere and nice sound a real jazz club. The saxophone player who also played with Ellis Marsalis, as so also the bass player, where also very good. The band was a top selection of great musicians and great music. I couldn't have asked for anything better!! So thanks Irvin is was amazing and a very nice first but not last visit to your playhouse! Thanks for the amazing night!