The Creation of NOJO
Growing up, Irvin was into playing the organ at his church. He had his first trumpet when he was in fourth grade. A traditional New Orleans street act, the Algiers Brass band was the first musical career he joins in. He successfully finishes his study in New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. The Juilliard School of Music tries to offer him a scholarship but he refuses and went to the University of New Orleans, but later on, drops out.
A New Orleans jazz group, Los Hombres Calientes was found by Irvin in 1988. It is a collaboration of African-Cuban jazz with rhythm and blues. Along with Mayfield is Jason Marsalis and Bill Summers. They began their career under Basin Street Records and a recording label with five albums over the years.
In 2002, Irvin also found the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. It is a non-profit organization with sixteen-piece jazz ensembles that dedicate their music to promote New Orleans Jazz. Irvin had opportunities to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Jazz Festival Australia, and North Sea Jazz Festival in Europe.
As a great composer, Irvin wrote a 90-minute masterpiece from the Billie Holiday’s recording “Strange Fruit” as an inspiration. It is a combination of jazz elements and classic music with Negro spirituals. His work reminisces the Wynton Marsalis’s Blood on the Fields and All Rise. The story is about a hopeless interracial love in the late 20’s Louisiana. And after the Hurricane Katrina, he was officially a part of Wynton Marsalis that took place at the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert in 2005.
After performing at the White House in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush nominates Irvin to the National Council on the Arts and was successfully appointed in 2010 by President Barack Obama.
The New Orleans Orchestra opens up a performing art venue and Jazz community center in the Central City of New Orleans. It is known as the People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market that features music education experiences for the people of New Orleans Jazz Archive.