Irvin Mayfield

Irvin Mayfield will tell you “Jazz is to New Orleans what oil is to Saudi Arabia,” when he explains the prolific jazz history of New Orleans. Underlying this response is Mayfield’s belief that his immense musical talent comes from being a child, not just from, but of New Orleans—a place where preservation meets passion and diversity creates culture, a place of souls and senses. In his new memoir, A Love Letter to New Orleans, a richly illustrated book and accompanying CD, Mayfield reflects on his music, unveiling the many influences that transformed him from just another talented New Orleans kid to one of the most promising young trumpeters of his generation. In this rare glimpse into the evolution of a jazz artist, Mayfield shares the inspirations that led him to create the songs on his ten albums, released by Basin Street Records. And the songs, in turn, cemented his career and life in jazz. In this very personal book, Mayfield writes of many who shaped his life, from the quiet influence of his father Irvin Mayfield Sr., a postal worker and former trumpet player who harbored dreams of a musical career, to the lasting impact of his teacher Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of the Marsalis family. Mayfield shares the profound impact that the Mardi Gras Indian culture, George Porter Jr. of the Funky Meters, and James Booker had on his music. He writes of the creative genius and sheer integrity demonstrated by musicians like Bill Summers, Kermit Ruffins, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Rebirth Brass Band, Horacio “El Negro’ Hernandez, and Cyril Neville. For more on Irvin and his work, visit his web site: