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NOJO Jam

Our friends the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, helmed by Irvin Mayfield and Ronald Markham were in full force at their regular Wednesday night showcase at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse on the first floor of the Royal Sonestra.  Celebrating six years, this is one of three clubs Irvin owns and has become the premier spot to catch jazz on Bourbon Street (or “bringing Jazz back to Bourbon Street” as Irvin likes to say).

We have seen Irvin almost every year of our trip.  It began with seeing him at Snug Harbor our first trip, then with some of his High School proteges at Snug Harbor the next trip.  That following year I brought him and the full NOJO to CSUCI with the help of funding from IRA (the fund that supports our trips to New Orleans).  Needless to say that was the musical highlight for Camarillo that year. The next year was the only year we didn’t technically hear him perform while in New Orleans.  He had set-up a ballroom for us (at the Royal Sonestra) and was going to do a private show for us.  This would have been epic, but a massive French Quarter-wide power outage translated in it taking nearly two hours to go three miles and his musicians had to leave for their paying gig (but Irvin still spoke to that year’s class by candle light for a few minutes before he too had to flee to make his next gig).  Since then we have been kindly hosted by him at one of his clubs each year (including once catching a reunion of his Bill Summers partnership, Los Hombres Calientes).

Maybe it is my senility settling in, but it really seems as if the shows keep getting better and tighter each trip.  Needless to say his “friends from California” were grinning ear to ear for most of the 1:35 first set.  The typical “no way”s and “that was crazy: did you hear that”s were the most common refrain from the students as they giddily took in some fantastic jazz.  Much thanks to Irvin and the crew for a great evening, for dedicating so many songs to us (and funking up the lyrics with references to us), and for giving Tevin a new nickname: Cali Swaggar.

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NOJO Jam for CSUCI

NOJO cover of the Beatle's "Yesterday"

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