BRUNSWICK — Grammy and Billboard Award-winning jazz trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will perform Thursday, Sept. 16, at Bowdoin College.

The concert, part of Mayfield’s Road to Carnegie Hall Tour, will feature a performance of Mayfield’s “Elysian Fields Jazz Suite,” a big band composition that grew out of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The “Elysian Fields Jazz Suite” received its world premiere in May 2010 as a musical commencement address at the University of New Orleans’ graduation ceremonies. An exploration of liberty, family, death and rebirth, the composition was inspired by Elysian Fields, the historic avenue in New Orleans that connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, as well as the mythological abode of blessed souls.

Elysian Fields is also the location where the body of Mayfield’s father, Irvin Mayfield Sr., was found in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Metaphorically, the “Elysian Fields Jazz Suite” recognizes New Orleans’ historical ties to France and its namesake, the Champs Elysees, the storied boulevard where liberty is honored.

At age 32, Mayfield, a trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, professor, cultural ambassador and recording artist, represents the continuity of the unfolding jazz legacy of New Orleans.

President Barack Obama nominated Mayfield to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. He also serves as cultural ambassador for the City of New Orleans.

Mayfield created the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra in 2002. The 20-piece ensemble, one of the most sought-after touring jazz orchestras in the country, includes such respected musicians as Victor Atkins on piano, Ed “Sweetbread” Petersen on saxophone and Evan Christopher on clarinet.

Under Mayfield’s artistic direction, the orchestra won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for its critically acclaimed CD “Book One” on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label.

Prior to “Book One,” Mayfield recorded “Love Songs, Ballads & Standards” with Ellis Marsalis, an early mentor and patriarch of the Marsalis family. His discography also includes “Higher Ground” on Blue Note Records, 2005; “Strange Fruit,” 2005; “Half Past Autumn Suite,” 2003; “How Passion Falls,” 2001; and “Irvin Mayfield: Irvin Mayfield” in 1999, on the Basin Street Record label.

In 1998, Mayfield co-founded the Latin jazz band Los Hombres Calientes with drummer Jason Marsalis and percussionist Bill Summers. Their debut CD, “Los Hombres Calientes” on Basin Street Records, won Billboard’s Latin Music Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.

A proponent of linking jazz with academia, Mayfield established the New Orleans Jazz Institute at the University of New Orleans in 2008. Last year, he opened Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Pickard Theater. Tickets, $25, are available at the David Saul Smith Union information desk or call 725-3375.


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