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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Orleans Jazz Rises Again

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On Tuesday, October 18, the Schaller Chapel is scheduled to host and unlikely and meaningful concert by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Although some of the band members remain unaccounted for this past week in the wake of hurricane devastation, and the band's administration was left scattered, it is hoped that the Storm Lake show can go on.

The cultural ACES event is planned to start at 7:30 p.m.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) is a spirited 16-piece band that combines the brightest young New Orleans talent with music steeped in the traditions of New Orleans and the past masters of jazz.

This program, entitled "Now and Then," will trace the evolution of jazz as it moved from New Orleans to the rest of America and the world.

The show includes the music of Professor Longhair, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet.

Well before Hurricane Katrina and the human catastrophe that followed, NOJO was recognized as a non-profit, world-class jazz organization to preserve the legacy of this music and pass it on to another generation.

Founder Irvin Mayfield said, "New Orleans has played and continues to play a part in American culture. Hurricane Katrina has affected this work tremendously. Our partners, our musicians, and our lives are now scattered far from home, but the spirit of New Orleans is alive and well, and it is NOJO's intention to ensure that this spirit, which is embodied in jazz, thrives in this time of devastation and paves the way for the return of New Orleans and its rich culture."

Now, more than ever, it is vital for the City of New Orleans to have a plan for reasserting its cultural identity, he said.

"This identity is grounded in the traditions and sounds of New Orleans jazz. Our community needs to know that the spirit that created America's only indigenous music, along with its musicians, will be ready to return to New Orleans as soon as it is humanly possible. Toward this end, NOjO's mission remains the same. We intend to ensure that this tradition remains intact during this difficult time."

The band is working to raise donations for its community.

"Through participation in fundraising efforts for relief aimed specifically at aiding displaced New Orleans musicians and through the creation of performance opportunities for our musicians, we will bring attention to the plight of working jazz musicians who have been adversely affected by the storm's aftermath, as well as to the need to preserve this unique American cultural treasure.," Mayfield said.

"New Orleans jazz is a lifeblood to New Orleans people, culture, tourism, musicians, and more. New Orleans jazz is a way of life."

NOJO has performed before the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., and in April 2005 performed for three nights at the nationally renowned Jazz @ Lincoln Center.