LOUISIANA: Cathedral's artist-in-residence wins Grammy

February 11, 2010

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra received a Grammy for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album" for their debut album, Book One, at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Jan. 31.

Mayfield, 31, award-winning trumpeter, founder and artistic director of the 15-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and artist-in-residence at the city's Christ Church Cathedral, composed and arranged the music included in Book One for "All the Saints," a 2008 concert commissioned and hosted by the cathedral.

According to David duPlantier, dean of the cathedral, the concert was intended to communicate hope and celebration for the city's wounded citizenry. Mayfield's music explores post-Hurricane Katrina stagnation, the financial crisis and falling in love again.

The cathedral hosted four annual "All the Saints" concerts from 2005 to 2008; the nine tracks on the Grammy-winning album released in June 2009 were original to the 2008 concert, he added.

"This particular year he wrote several things that were unique; reflecting on the financial crisis … the price of gas, falling in love again with the city -- it was his sense that we'd come out of the horror and were beginning to see the city again," duPlantier said.

DuPlantier described Mayfield's work as "exquisite," and said that the music community's recognition of Book One honors the church's and the cathedral's long tradition of supporting the arts.

"It's great because it's an example of the Episcopal Church supporting the culture indigenous to the local community," duPlantier said. "It's an example of us strengthening the cultural soul of the city as well as the spiritual in a way that's important for the life of any community."

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