Grammy Award-winning Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) are pleased to announce “THE BIG BEAT,” Jazz’s first major fundraising event in the City of New Orleans, to be held on April 19, 2012, at the JW Marriott from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM. THE BIG BEAT celebrates the tradition of percussion and drums from which Jazz evolved and will raise funds that are essential to its advancement. All proceeds benefit the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

THE BIG BEAT features an exciting lineup of live music, including the 18-piece Big Band with Irvin Mayfield
and special guest Cyril Neville; a presentation by legendary percussionist Bill Summers; and a drum showcase with NOJO’s own Adonis Rose, and New Orleans drummers Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell and Jason Marsalis. JW Marriott Executive Chef Chuck Subra will present a special menu crafted exclusively for the occasion.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra is also pleased to announce an inaugural award ceremony, including the presentation of six Congo Square Awards, which recognize the outstanding contributions of the drummers and percussionists who have continued and influenced the Congo Square legacy that gave birth to Jazz. This year’s recipients include the aforementioned Cyril Neville, Bill Summers, Adonis Rose, Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell and Jason Marsalis. Additionally, NOJO will honor band member and trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown as Musician of the Year, Jan Ramsey off OffBeat Magazine with the Blues Hero Award, and Jazz supporters Kevin and Jeanne Poorman with the Jazz Lifestyle Award. Recipients are honored for their unique expressions of personal dedication to New Orleans music.

Tickets are available at or by contacting Michelle Ameno, NOJO Director of
Development, at 504.444.3527 or [email protected] Please visit for more information. All proceeds from THE BIG BEAT will directly support the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which is the first and only performing arts institution committed solely to the development of an industry for Jazz in the city that created it. Amongst its performances and community programs, NOJO is the first and only organization to present a local, ticketed Jazz concert series in the city of New Orleans. Through the New Orleans Jazz
Institute (NOJI), a partnership with the University of New Orleans, NOJO commissions artists and provides
year-round music education to local youth with its Saturday Music School and Project Prodigy programs.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra is a performing-arts organization whose goal is to strengthen the business
of Jazz through performances, touring, recordings, education and media platforms. Founded in 2002 by trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Irvin Mayfield, NOJO’s mission is to inspire freedom and culture in the individual and the global community by creating authentic, engaging Jazz experiences, while
celebrating the origins and transforming the future of Jazz. For more information, please visit