New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Brings ‘Home for the Holidays’ to Center for the Arts

Posted: December 2, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Irvin Mayfield, Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer and the cultural ambassador for the City of New Orleans, will lead the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra in a festive holiday program that evokes the wonderful sounds and celebratory joie de vivre of their beloved city.

The Jazz Orchestra will bring this infectious holiday cheer to Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m.

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Photo courtesy of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

A discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

This exciting program will include blues, swing and spirituals. Also on the program is a crowd-pleasing Ellington arrangement of “The Nutcracker Suite,” New Orleans classics such as Charles Brown’s “Please Be Home for Christmas” and “Christmas Time Is Here,” Louis Armstrong’s version of “O Christmas Tree” and “Little Drummer Boy” (the New Orleans way).

At 30 years old, Irvin Mayfield is already renowned as one of the most decorated and recorded jazz musicians of his generation, and he has dedicated himself to promoting and celebrating the unique music, culture and heritage that thrives in the city of New Orleans.

Mayfield founded the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, the only major jazz performance institution of its kind in the city, in 2002. A year later, Mayfield was appointed the cultural ambassador for both the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the orchestra became a beacon for the rich cultural traditions of a troubled city. Mayfield and the orchestra symbolically reopened New Orleans in 2005 with the first major cultural event in the city post-Katrina, a performance at Christ Church Cathedral.

In addition to serving as the orchestra’s artistic director, Mayfield is extremely active in the New Orleans community and post-Katrina building efforts. Mayfield is also a professor and artistic director of New Orleans Jazz at the University of New Orleans, artistic director of jazz for the Minnesota Orchestra and artist-in-residence at Christ Church Cathedral.

PNC and the PNC Foundation are sponsors of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason season.

Tickets are $44, $36 and $22; tickets for children 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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