Irvin Mayfield, Jr. was born on born December 23, 1977 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of five brothers, three half-brothers and a half-sister. He received his first trumpet when he was in the fourth grade, asking his father for one after seeing the success a friend of his was having with girls by playing the instrument. Early in his public school education, he befriended fellow schoolmate Jason Marsalis. As a young man he attended and graduated from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, declined a scholarship to Juilliard School of Music to attend the University of New Orleans, then dropped out during his first semester.
Mayfield began his musical career during the latter half of the 1980s, playing with the Algiers Brass Band, shared a New York City apartment with Wynton Marsalis for a brief period and helped found Los Hombres Calientes with Bill Summers, Jason Marsalis, Victor Atkins III, David Pulphus, and Yvette-Bostic Summers. Signing with Basin Street Records, the groups debut album garnerd much success and Irvin received national recognition.
As an educator Mayfield would go on to be an artist-in-residence and establish the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University, found the sixteen-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, accept a one-year appointment as Artistic Director of Jazz at Orchestra Hall, the five-concert jazz series of the Minnesota Orchestra, received The Chancellor’s Award from the University of New Orleans, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Dillard University,
Over the course of his still vibrant career, Mayfield has been a part of the Higher GroundHurricane Relief Benefit Concert in the aftermath of Katrina, and was nominated to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush and was subsequently appointed to the post by President Obama in 2010, serving through 2014. He has performed at the White House and festivals around the country, was made a Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans, has a club named after him in the Royal Sonesta Hotel and has recorded to date, twenty-five albums.
Grammy and Billboard Award-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield currently serves as Jazz Artist in Residence for the Apollo Theater, is Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and continues to perform, record and tour with his small groups and occasionally with Los Hombres Calientes.
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