The courage to create: irvin mayfield jr. hosts biannual lecture
Working, teaching or studying at the University of New Orleans, one is surrounded by artists and craftsmen of all kinds—jazz musicians, classical musicians, filmmakers, painters, graphic artists, filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, writers, philosophers, researchers, even ship-builders.
Drawing celebrity to campus too is Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and professor of professional practice Irvin Mayfield, Jr. who officially serves as a cultural ambassador for the city. Twice a year Mayfield hosts a biannual lecture aimed at advancing the arts—it's that time of year, so mark your calendars.
Mayfield hosts "The Courage to Create" at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17, in the UNO Education Building, Room 103. President Peter J. Fos will introduce the lecture and Mayfield. Michael Sartisky, president and executive director of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will also speak. The event is free and open to the public.
Following the lecture, Mayfield and UNO Jazz Studies students will perform together at The Cove. Again, all are invited to participate.
In October, the New Orleans Jazz Institute, an education-based partnership between the UNO and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, led by Mayfield, will host the 8th Annual NOJI Masters Series.
Founded in 2008, NOJI aims to link UNO's strengths in jazz education with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's strengths in professional practice and performance, according to the organization's website. NOJI serves to promote creative excellence and best practices in jazz composition, performance, scholarship, importation, exportation and education.
Each semester, NOJI commissions UNO Jazz Studies professors to create new Jazz music based on certain themes, said Stephanie Mayne, NOJI spokeswoman. The music is created by Steve Masakowski, the University's Coca-Cola Endowed Chair and director of Jazz Studies; and NOJO members Victor Atkins, graduate coordinator of the Department of Music, and Edward Petersen, associate chair of the Department of Music and coordinator of Jazz Studies.
The Fall 2013 commissions will be based on poetry. Each professor will be paired with a poet and will create music based on that poet's works, said Mayne in a release. The UNO professors will compose and perform music based on the poetry of United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, State of Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon, and The Poetry Foundation's Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt.
The October series will include premieres at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse and to-be-announced community performances at New Orleans Public Libraries and other local venues.