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IRVIN MAYFIELD AND THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA AT GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

November 17, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES

IRVIN MAYFIELD and

the NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA

"HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS"

Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 at 8 p.m.

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 17, 2008—“A saucy big band with a broadly embracing musical perspective.” (Santa Barbara Independent) Irvin Mayfield, Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer and the cultural ambassador for the city of New Orleans, leads the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) in a festive holiday program that evokes the wonderful sounds and celebratory joie de vivre of their beloved city. NOJO brings this infectious holiday cheer to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Described by the Post and Courier as “Screamin’ trumpets, growlin’ trombones, a rock solid rhythm section and honey drippin’ saxophones that jump, jive and wail,” this spirited 16-piece band performs holiday classics in the tradition of New Orleans jazz. This exciting program includes blues, swing, spirituals, a crowd-pleasing Ellington arrangement of the "The Nutcracker Suite," and New Orleans classics such as Charles Brown’s "Please Be Home For Christmas" and "Christmas Time is Here," Louis Armstrong’s version of "O Christmas Tree" and "Little Drummer Boy" (the New Orleans second line way).

At only 30 years old, Irvin Mayfield is already renowned as one of the most decorated and recorded jazz musicians of his generation, and he has dedicated himself to promoting and celebrating the unique music, culture and heritage that thrives in the city of New Orleans. In 2002, Mayfield founded NOJO, the only major jazz performance institution of its kind in the city. In 2003, Mayfield was appointed the cultural ambassador for both the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, representing the great New Orleans jazz legacy and serving as the cultural spokesperson for New Orleans. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, NOJO became a beacon for the rich cultural traditions of a troubled city. In an effort to heal the New Orleans community, Mayfield (who lost his father, Irvin Mayfield Sr. in the tragedy) and NOJO create authentic, engaging jazz experiences in cities throughout the United States, while celebrating the origins and transforming the future of jazz. Mayfield and NOJO made history on November 17, 2005 when they symbolically reopened New Orleans with a performance at Christ Church Cathedral, which was the first major cultural event in the city post-Katrina.

In addition to serving as the artistic director of NOJO, Mayfield is extremely active in the New Orleans community and post-Katrina building efforts. He participated as on advisory member to Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu’s Louisiana Cultural Rebirth Committee and on Mayor C. Ray Nagin’s Bring New Orleans Back culture sub-committee. He serves on the boards of the New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans Arts Council, the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Louisiana State University’s Department of Psychiatry and Health Science, Unity of New Orleans and the City of New Orleans’ homelessness commission. Mayfield is also a professor and artistic director of New Orleans Jazz at the University of New Orleans, artistic director of jazz for the Minnesota Orchestra and artist-in-residence at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans. In addition, President George W. Bush recently appointed Mayfield to the National Council of the Arts.

Despite Mayfield’s busy schedule, he and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra maintain an active touring schedule, performing at venues all over the city of New Orleans, throughout the United States and abroad. The Center for the Arts is fortunate to be one of the few venues hosting Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra this holiday season.  

 

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA are $44, $36, $22. Family Friendly! Children 12 and under half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.