Aaron Neville & Branford Marsalis Added To NOJO 10 Anniversary At Carnegie Hall

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Irvin Mayfield

This Carnegie Hall debut is part of THE NOJO 10 concert series celebrating the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s 10th anniversary with 10 signature Jazz events from September through December, 2012

NEW YORK, NY: New Orleans, the colorful Crescent City, is the birthplace of jazz, and 10 years ago it gave birth to the brilliant and buoyant 18-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). Led by its Grammy award-winning founder, artistic director, trumpeter and cultural ambassador, Irvin Mayfield, this exciting ensemble embraces all of the uptown/down-home hues, moods and grooves of the music. In celebration of its incredible decade, NOJO will party in the Big Apple – Big Easy-style – when it presents 10 Years, One Night at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Monday, October 8, 2012, 8:00 pm. Tickets for this Carnegie Hall debut are on sale now.

In addition to Mayfield and the 18-person big band, the concert features special guests Aaron Neville and Branford Marsalis along with famed Jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, Season 10 American Idol finalists Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart and the acclaimed string ensemble Sphinx Virtuosi. Hosting the star-studded event will be Soledad O’Brien, anchor of CNN’s Starting Point and author of The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities.

10 Years, One Night is sponsored by Prudential Financial and the New Orleans Convention Visitors Bureau.

“This performance at Carnegie Hall is our opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of NOJO while thanking – through music – the friends, neighbors and partners who have supported our city, culture and music before and, especially, since Hurricane Katrina,” says Mayfield, a proud graduate of the city’s famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and co-founder of the New Orleans-based Latin-jazz group, Los Hombres Calientes.

Mayfield, who is also featured in the new documentary Jazz Kids II, has released a number of CD’s as a leader, including As Passions Falls, Love Songs and Ballads (with Ellis Marsalis), A Love Letter to New Orleans, Strange Fruit and Half Past Autumn Suite (with Gordon Parks). In 2008, Mayfield established The New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI) at the University of New Orleans, and is currently a professor of professional practice at UNO’s College of Liberal Arts and teaches New Orleans as Discourse, a forum where students interact with nationally recognized cultural, business and political leaders. Mayfield was nominated by President Obama to serve on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and he received the Chancellor’s Award from the University of New Orleans (the highest ranking award given to a professor) in 2010 He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Dillard University in 2011.

Sharing the stage with Mayfield and NOJO, will be a daring and diverse potpourri of musicians, including the Michigan-bred, Paris-reborn, award winning jazz chanteuse and host of NPR’s JazzSet, Dee Dee Bridgewater; the amazing, conductorless Sphinx Virtuosi, a group of young Black and Latino classical string players; vocalists Casey Abrams and Interscope recording artist Haley Reinhart, two Season 10 American Idol finalists; and two scions of New Orleans’ most celebrated musical families: saxophonist/bandleader/educator Branford Marsalis and the soulful, yodeling vocalist Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers, who will release his debut Blue Note CD, My True Story, in January.

Founded by Irvin Mayfield as the first and only performing arts institution solely committed to the development of the industry of Jazz in the city that created it, NOJO’s mandate is to inspire freedom and culture in the individual and the global community by creating authentic, and engaging Jazz experiences that celebrate the origins of Jazz, transform its future, and to strengthen the business of Jazz through performances, touring, recordings, education and media platforms. Their latest CD, Book One, won the 2010 Grammy Award for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble."

Along with Mayfield, NOJO boasts a number of impressive musicians including, University of New Orleans faculty members, saxophonist Ed “Sweetbread” Petersen, pianist Victor “Red” Atkins and guitarist Steve Masakowski.

NOJO is also celebrating in its hometown with a series of local concerts and events taking place across the city from September to December. Highlights include collaborations with Ledisi, Shannon Powell and Cyril Neville, as well as an original Jazz score being created by Mayfield to honor literary legend Ernest Gaines. The NOJO 10 Season Ticket packages are available now at www.thenojo.com.

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