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Aug 23, 2010

Irvin Mayfield and NOJO perform at Bowdoin College

Grammy and Billboard Award-winning jazz trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will perform at Bowdoin College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 16, 2010, in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

Grammy and Billboard Award-winning jazz trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will perform at Bowdoin College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 16, 2010, in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

The concert, which is part of Mayfield's Road to Carnegie Hall Tour, will feature a performance of Mayfield's Elysian Fields Jazz Suite, a big band composition that grew out of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Elysian Fields Jazz Suite received its world premiere in May 2010 as a musical commencement address at the University of New Orleans' graduation ceremonies. An exploration of liberty, family, death, and rebirth, the composition is inspired by Elysian Fields, the historic avenue in New Orleans that connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, as well as the mythological abode of blessed souls. Elysian Fields is also the location where the body of Mayfield's father, Irvin Mayfield Sr., was found in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Metaphorically, the Elysian Fields Jazz Suite recognizes New Orleans' historical ties to France and its namesake, the Champs Elysees, the storied boulevard where liberty is honored.

Concert tickets are free for Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff with ID; $25 for the general public; and $10 for members of the Association of Bowdoin Friends. Tickets are available at the David Saul Smith Union information desk, 207-725-3375. (Friends may purchase tickets at the McLellan Building.)

The concert is sponsored by the Donald M. Zuckert Visiting Professorship Fund.

Mayfield_vertical.jpg At just 32 years old, Irvin Mayfield represents the continuity of the unfolding jazz legacy of New Orleans. The trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, professor, cultural ambassador and recording artist is on a path to position jazz at the center of American culture.

Mayfield created the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) in 2002. The 20-piece ensemble, which is one of the most sought-after touring jazz orchestras in the country, includes such respected musicians as Victor Atkins on piano, Ed "Sweetbread" Petersen on saxophone and Evan Christopher on clarinet. Under Mayfield's artistic direction, NOJO won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for its critically acclaimed CD Book One on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label.

Prior to Book One, Mayfield recorded Love Songs, Ballads & Standards with Ellis Marsalis, an early mentor and patriarch of the Marsalis family. His discography also includes Higher Ground on Blue Note Records, 2005; Strange Fruit, 2005; Half Past Autumn Suite, 2003; How Passion Falls, 2001; and Irvin Mayfield: Irvin Mayfield in 1999, on the Basin Street Record label.

In 1998, Mayfield co-founded the Latin jazz band Los Hombres Calientes with drummer Jason Marsalis and percussionist Bill Summers. Their debut CD, Los Hombres Calientes on Basin Street Records, won Billboard's Latin Music Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.

A proponent of linking jazz with academia, Mayfield established the New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI) at the University of New Orleans in 2008. Since its inception, NOJI launched the Saturday Music School for local elementary students, established a consortium of jazz professionals throughout the New Orleans area, initiated a high school scholarship competition in partnership with the Satchmo Summer Fest, and created the UNOJO (the University of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra)—a student orchestra patterned after NOJO. He is currently a professor of professional practice at UNO's College of Liberal Arts.

In 2009, Mayfield opened Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. The Playhouse provides over 50 jazz musicians an opportunity to perform and build new audiences on a weekly basis. Mayfield has also expanded his media platforms with his radio show, The Life & Times of Irvin Mayfield, which airs on WGSO-AM and streams on

President Barack Obama nominated Mayfield to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He also serves as cultural ambassador for the City of New Orleans, an appointment recognized by the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Governor of the State of Louisiana and other governmental bodies.

A passionate advocate for New Orleans, Mayfield is chairman of the board of the New Orleans Public Library. He also serves on the boards of the New Orleans Recovery Authority, the New Orleans Arts Council, the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, the Louisiana State University's Department of Psychiatry and Health Science, Unity of New Orleans, the New Orleans Public Library Foundation and Tulane University's School of Architecture.

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