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Preservation Hall Jazz Band Returns and New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Debuts at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall as Part of Mellon Jazz Fridays Series on March 16

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Free at the Kimmel Dena Underwood Trio Performs Jazz Standards on the Commonwealth Plaza Stage at 6:30pm

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra debuts at the Kimmel Center and shares the stage with Preservation Hall Jazz Band in a concert that pays tribute to New Orleans rich, cultural jazz traditions on Friday, March 16, 2007 at 8pm in Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Irvin Mayfield, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra presents America's own native musical form, with roots in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. Mayfield, one of the most recorded jazz musicians of his generation, was appointed Cultural Ambassador for the city in 2003. Mayfield lost his father to Hurricane Katrina and has dedicated himself to promoting, now more than ever, the unique New Orleans jazz music heritage that lives today. Preservation Hall Jazz Band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Bandleader John Brunious, a gifted ambassador and witty raconteur, will lead audiences through an exploration of the music and spirit of New Orleans.

Tickets for Preservation Hall Jazz Band and New Orleans Jazz Orchestra on Friday, March 16, 2007 at 8pm in Verizon Hall are priced at $26, $46, $59, $64, $74 and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at www.kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center box office, open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings. (Additional fees may apply.) For group sales call 215-893-5883.

A limited number of $10 tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance at the Kimmel Center. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office beginning 2.5 hours prior to curtain time and 11:30am for matinees. Limit one ticket per person.

Irvin Mayfield is the latest in a long line of New Orleans trumpeters. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1977, Mayfield has quickly established himself as one of the most decorated and recorded jazz musicians of his generation. Mayfield founded the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc., the only major jazz performance institution of its kind in the city, in late 2002. Today he serves as Artistic Director for the nonprofit institution, through which he envisions delivering year-round, rich and meaningful jazz presentations for the New Orleans region. In 2003, he founded the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University. Later in 2003, Mayfield was unanimously appointed to the post of Cultural Ambassador for the City of New Orleans by city officials. Since then, he has represented the great New Orleans jazz legacy as a cultural spokesperson for New Orleans.

In October 2003, Mayfield debuted Strange Fruit, featuring the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and the Dillard University Concert Choir. This composition was the first commission of its kind made possible by a historically Black College and University, marking a significant historic moment. Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra made history again on November 17, 2005 when they symbolically reopened New Orleans with the performance of another historic piece-composed by Mayfield-titled All the Saints. This commission was the first of its kind by an Episcopal diocese, and it served New Orleans as the first major cultural event inside the city post Katrina.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band, and record label. The Preservation Hall Jazz band began touring in 1963. Many of the band's charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders over the band's history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, and famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps like current band leader and trumpeter John Brunious.

Kimmel Center Presents' 2006/2007 season is supported by: Mellon Financial Corporation, University of Pennsylvania Health System, National Endowment for the Arts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, ARC Wheeler, The William Penn Foundation, The Wachovia Foundation, Verizon Foundation, The Presser Foundation, Philadelphia Music Project and Dance Advance, Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trust administered by The University of the Arts. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Kimmel Center Presents. Toyota is the Official Vehicle of Kimmel Center Presents Jazz and World Pop programming. NBC-10 is a Media Partner for Kimmel Center Presents. The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com are media sponsors for the Great Orchestras on Tour series.

FREE AT THE KIMMEL events are made possible through the Wachovia Gateway to the Arts Community Access Program supported by a generous grant from Wachovia Foundation.

KIMMEL CENTER PRESENTS

Friday, March 16, 2007 | 8pm
Verizon Hall
Mellon Jazz Fridays

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
John Brunious, trumpet
Darryl Adams, saxophone
Walter Payton, bass
Joseph Lastie Jr., drums
Rickie Monie, piano
Carl LeBlanc, banjo
Frank Demond, trombone

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Irvin Mayfield, Artistic Director, trumpet
Evan Christopher, alto saxophone, clarinet
Aaron Fletcher, soprano and alto saxophone
Derek Douget, tenor saxophone
Ed Peterson, tenor saxophone
Dan Oestriecher, baritone saxophone
Steve Suter, trombone
Steve Walker, trombone
Jeff Galindo, trombone
Barney Floyd, trumpet
Leon Brown, trumpet
Eric Lucero, trumpet
Jamelle Williams, trumpet
Victor Atkins, piano
David Pulphus, bass
Adonis Rose, drums

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