Soledad O'Brien interviews Irvin Mayfield about #_____LivesMatter

Grammy Award-winning musician Irvin Mayfield and the 19-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will premiere Mayfield’s original composition #_____LivesMatter at the Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market from Thursday, January 21st, through Saturday, January 23rd.

#_____LivesMatter asks whether the need to identify whose lives matter – especially when it’s Black – reflects our hesitancy to have conversations involving race. The suite will consist of 12 tone poems, each focused on a specific person or topic. A tone poem is a piece of orchestral music that illustrates or evokes the content of a story, piece of art, or other idea.

“Art is often a catalyst to create honest dialogue when words are too hurtful or distancing,” explained Mayfield. “Jazz is about bringing people together, and that’s the goal with all of our work at the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. #_____LivesMatter is our opportunity to create a soundtrack for the moment and facilitate a conversation about this global, complex subject through our art. The music will allow the audience to experience the full gamut of emotions – from joy to loss to humor to pain – through the same optimism that you feel listening to a blues song.”