A Minneapolis Mardi Gras

The event's title may be an oxymoron, the timing off by a week and a half, and the beads and doubloons in short supply, but inside Orchestra Hall an impressive contingent of genuine New Orleanians should ensure les bon temps roulez with appropriate fervor. The impresario will be Irvin Mayfield, formidable trumpeter, co-founder of the world-beating Los Hombres Calientes, a composer of rising renown (the Minnesota Orchestra and his quintet will premiere a commissioned jazz/classical work in July), official New Orleans cultural ambassador, and leader of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. He will be joined by an all-star core from that group, notably including stellar pianist David Torkanowsky, guitarist/banjoist Don Vappie, and clarinetist Evan Christopher. The irrepressible Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, will supply her indelible vocals along with some of her Crescent City classics. The Rebirth Brass Band, one of the prime instigators of funking up New Orleans's brass band tradition, will fill the hall with blistering rhythms and blazing horns direct from NOLA streets.
Thu., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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