Virginia Mayhew was born on May 14, 1959 and took up the saxophone as a child. Early in her career she worked with trombonist Al Grey and contributing arrangements for several recordings. In 1987 she became active on the New York jazz scene, playing with the likes of Earl “Fatha” Hines, Junior Mance, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Doc Cheatham, Joe Williams, Kenny Barron, Ingrid Jensen, Chico O’Farrill and the list continues.
She has performed all over the world in concert and festivals, and has twice been a U.S. Jazz Ambassador. Mayhew would go on to work with Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, become a member of the Howard Williams Big Band, Carl Thompson and Friends, and the Lou Caputo “Not So Big Band” in conjunction with freelancing around New York.
Virginia is currently the Musical Director and saxophonist of the 9-piece Duke Ellington Legacy group, leads her own quartet and septet, recorded and released a Mary Lou Williams project featuring Wycliffe Gordon, and is working on a project that replaces drums with tap dancing.
As an educator she teaches privately, is on the faculty of the summer jazz camps at Stanford Jazz Workshop, Monterey Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Camp along with conducting clinics at U-Mass, University of Louisville, Bloomington University, Williams College among others. She has worked with Don Braden’s “Jazz For Teens” and Melissa Walker’s “Jazz House Kids”. Tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew continues to perform, compose, arrange, adjudicate and teach and establish the “Jazz Workshop” at the Greenwich House Music School in New York City.
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