Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


January 16, 2013
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.





Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at 8 p.m.


  • With special guests, including jazz vocalist Darden Purcell, trumpeter Dave Robinson and the Capital Focus Jazz Band
  • Featuring an original composition by Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens, written after Hurricane Katrina as a tribute to the spirit of New Orleans


FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 16, 2013 – Escape to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras when this fantastic orchestra from the greater Washington, D.C. area takes the stage for a festive night of music. Join the “second line” (a New Orleans brass band parade tradition) as the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra celebrates the birthplace of jazz music with “Mardi Gras with the MJO” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. This performance is Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half price when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

This spectacular evening of music celebrates the signature New Orleans sound – a unique blend of blues, ragtime, marches, church music and more – based on polyphonic ensemble playing (wind instruments improvising together), which came out of the early brass brand tradition. The soulful mix of music from this southern city captures an array of emotions from joy, celebration and optimism to sorrow, mourning and despair. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, music played an invaluable role in rebuilding the spirit of New Orleans, and helping our country realize that the culture of New Orleans is a precious national treasure.

Led by director Jim Carroll, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra will perform a collection of New Orleans tunes by the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles and more. The program will also feature “A Mournful Procession,” by Michael Nickens, known to many as “Doc Nix,” the director of Mason’s Green Machine Pep Band. Guest vocalist Darden Purcell, a Washington, D.C. Air Force Band vocalist who has toured with The Airmen of Note, will perform with the ensemble. Trumpeter Dave Robinson, who has performed with top D.C. area jazz and swing bands for more than 30 years, will also perform and direct the Capital Focus Jazz Band in the performance.

            In addition to serving as director of the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Jim Carroll’s illustrious career includes performances at Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall and the Apollo Theatre. A versatile performer, Carroll has performed with Michael Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Taylor, Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and many others. Active as an educator, Carroll is the director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.



PLEASE NOTE: The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra will also perform at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Prince William on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 8 p.m. Titled “The Gospel Truth,” this performance will feature pianist and organist Bobby Floyd as a special guest artist.

Tickets for METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA are $22, $36 and $44. Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half price when accompanied by an adult. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.