Irvin Mayfield has always been ambitious. He has achieved a great deal in his artistic, business and community-related efforts. With this grand 11-day fundraising endeavor, he raises his philanthropic profile considerably.
The event kicks off tomorrow night at the trumpeter’s flagship nightclub, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. It concludes next weekend at his new business, Irvin Mayfield’s I Club in the J.W. Marriott Hotel.
For the first seven nights, Mayfield’s band will battle Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers in an epic showdown that has been dubbed, “The Thriller at the Playhouse.” Longtime fans of Mayfield and Ruffins may recall that there is some history here. The two bands faced off numerous times in the past. One particular evening, my friends and I actually scored the battle of the bands like we were at the boxing match. Even though I am an avowed Kermitologist, I had to admit that Mayfield won that one.
The second series, dubbed “Love Moments,” takes place at the I Club next weekend. Mayfield’s septet will go up against Roy Hargrove and his band. Hargrove is a New York based, Grammy Award winning trumpeter and a monster player.
Regardless of which band prevails over the eleven nights, the real winners will be the eleven area non-profits that are the beneficiaries of the largess. These groups include the New Orleans Public Library, Children’s Hospital and Unity of Greater New Orleans.