Irvin Mayfield

Irvin Mayfield’s New Album: “Live at Newport”

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The Grammy Award-winning artist, Irvin Mayfield, had a new album with the title “Live at Newport”. It aims to show the talents of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and how much he admires all things about New Orleans. The album is different from his previous works, New Orleans Jazz Playhouse, it is more mature that highlights the full Jazz Orchestra in front of a big crowd. It is a reflection of years of Irvin’s career being a band leader and trumpeter. It includes moments when he speaks about reform for Louisiana prisoners entitled “Angola”, and a meaningful tribute to his father, “May his Soul Rest in Peace”.

Being a humble person, this album was made to present other members of the orchestra and give them their own time to shine. Some of the performances were from Ashlin Parker solo, an entire track namely “Sweetbread on the Leeves” for Dr. Ed “Sweetbread” Petersen and his saxophone arrangements. Also, the whole orchestra had shown their talents in “The Elder Negro Speaks”, which features his major influence, Jelly Roll Morton. Other elements from Mayfield and company are the hip New Orleans Madi Gras tune “Indians” and “I’ve Got the World on a String” which features his easy yet soulful pupil, Leon Brown.

Aside from their original tracks and crafts, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra never fails the crowd to be entertained with several performances from the music of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, and other famous rock and pop music legends. Some of the songs they work with are Lennon & McCartney’s “Yesterday”, Stevie Wonders’ “Overjoyed”, and a bombastic rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”.

The album Live at the Newport will bring listeners to a wonderful experience of jazz music. Setting aside the standards and traditional type of jazz, this is a well-rehearsed Jazz Orchestra with a world-renowned trumpeter and bandleader, Irvin Mayfield. It is a live entertaining experience from a New Orleans jazz style with rock and pop music that you should not miss.

The Mayfield Legacy Lives On

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To most of the people who know and idolize Irvin Mayfield, he is more than a musician. He wants to create music that will show the New Orleans life and continue its legacy to jazz music. Although he spends some time in New York, Irvin’s heart is in New Orleans, so he came back, saying how much he loved his town and its people. He even swears that he will remain faithful in the city and nothing can change it.

His passion for jazz music open doors for him and to his band and orchestra. He also became an artistic director for Minnesota Orchestra, an educator at the University of New Orleans, and made a collaboration with the Apollo Theater in New York (source: Lauren Shapiro). He takes care of his career that he treats his every project as his last one. Being so passionate about his music, he insists that every piece he made was a replication of the drama in his life. He even promises to play the trumpet no matter whatever happens in the future.


Irvin Mayfield is not just an ordinary trumpeter and bandleader. He has a deep passion for jazz music and his undying love for his town, New Orleans. He struggles with his father’s death but that did not make him stop in creating more styles of music. Instead, he uses all the pain and sorrow and turns it into a magical masterpiece.

You cannot blame the people who support and believes in him because his craft comes with advocacies. Not only to make him and his band famous, but to be able to hear his opinions. Reaching his way to the top, he never forgets to bring the people with him, his band and families.

He is truly a jazz music symbol for all ages, not only because of his talents but also by being a good example to many. He lifts up everyone’s spirit through his music and gave opportunities to people, especially to his fellow New Orleanians to experience what it feels like to be in his shoes. People like Irvin Mayfield should be the one we look up to.

The Creation of NOJO

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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. Professionals from varied backgrounds (from life coaches to veterinarians) have enjoyed Irvin’s music.

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.

Irvin Mayfield: A Lifetime of Achievements

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Before reaching the age of 25, Irvin Mayfield has already a dozen album releases. His dedication and willingness to contribute success and knowledge for both jazz and classical studies make him a popular public figure in the state of Louisiana. Also, he is a bandleader for master classes and different workshops in the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana, Loyola University, and Chandler Jazz Festivals.

With his own band, Los Hombres Calientes, Mayfield performs with other artists on stage with a variety of genre. It includes Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Chucho Valdes, Moses Hogan, Terence Blanchard, and many more. Their band had won an award from Billboard for the group’s eponymous debut and became the Contemporary Latin Jazz Album of the Year in 2000. The New Orleans Museum of Art asked him to compose a jazz music that can blend to Gordon Parks’ exhibition of works. They play his work, “Half Past Autumn”, in summer 2000 at the museum. Irvin was chosen to be the Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans. His greatest achievement so far is winning the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2009.

Background on Irvin Mayfield

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Also known to be a bandleader, educator, and composer, Irvin Mayfield is an American trumpeter. Born on December 23, 1977, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Irvin has eight siblings and the youngest in his family. His mother, Joyce Alsanders, was a school teacher at the New Orleans and Irvin Mayfield Sr., his father, was a retired United States Army and a former boxer. Due to the typhoon Katrina, his father dies in the flood.

In an interview, Irvin talks about how he remembers his dad while he was trying to move on. According to Mayfield, his dad was a very fun-loving father. That is why it is so hard for him to talk about his loss because he is still a grieving son. In addition, he told that his dad had a great sense of humor and was a true New Orleanean. But he laughs when he reminisced about how his dad tries to cheat him on chess because he was winning.

The song, “Just a Closer Walk to the Thee”, is an original composition by Irvin Mayfield that he dedicates to his father. He always plays the song to remind people that he is not just about playing music and he is dealing with a very tragic moment. He shares what jazz music teaches us about. It deals with the fact that when there is a celebration it happens as a group, unlike sorrow that needs to be handled individually.