Irvin Mayfield is showing all indications of following another talented New Orleans trumpet player into iconic territory. He's tackling one ambitious project after another, crossing genres at will, and becoming a beacon of creativity and activism. Like Wynton Marsalis, Mayfield grew up in the music crucible that is the Crescent City and studied jazz and classical music. In addition to being named the Minnesota Orchestra's first jazz artistic director, he teaches at two New Orleans universities, co-founded the fabulous Afro-Cuban-New Orleans band Los Hombres Calientes, and founded and leads the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which just released its first album, Book One (World Village). Mayfield's also an increasingly significant composer, and with this performance he will premiere a new piece, "The Art of Passion," which embraces jazz and classical, focusing on the inspirations fueling both. Mayfield will lead his quintet, which includes trombonist Ronald Westray, drummer Adonis Rose (both from the NOJO), pianist John Chin, and bassist Neal Caine. Joining them will be the orchestra, conducted by Sommerfest artistic director and pianist Andrew Litton on a program that will also include Gershwin, Ellington, Monk, and Arlen.
Thu., July 23, 7:30 p.m., 2009