Irvin Mayfield’s birthday party – Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans

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Last night I experienced an incredible jazz treat.  Whenever I visit New Orleans, I always take in as much cool jazz as I can and when I heard that Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was playing, I knew this was going to the “in show” to attend.  Of course, while on vacation (I’m in New Orleans to attend Prospect New Orleans – a great biennial of contemporary art)  I never take all of my professional photographic equipment and oftentimes will just carry my iPhone for the occasional snap shot.  I was kicking myself that I hadn’t brought one of my good cameras!  All of the images you see here were taken with my iPhone.

I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THE EVENING WAS GOING TO BE LIKE!!

Upon arriving at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans, I found out it was Irvin’s 34th birthday today and to expect a “special” evening.  No sooner did I sit down in the very intimate, 40-seat jazz lounge that I knew I recognized the people sitting in front of me: Grammy winner, The Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas.  Sure enough, she was attending tonight’s performance to wish Irvin happy birthday and got on stage and performed a set.

If that wasn’t enough of a treat, in walked New Orleans trumpeter Shamarr Allen who also surprised Irvin and played a set.

And finally, after a champagne toast and cupcakes for everyone, Irvin was treated to a fabulous surprise “Santa Striptease” by the New Orleans burlesque queen Miss Trixie Minx.

This was the best night of jazz I’ve ever attended.

Have you heard Irvin play? Please feel free to leave a comment here:

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