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Jazz studies professor debuts Christmas album at Loyola

Loyola press release - November 23, 2009

The John Mahoney Big Band, directed by John Mahoney, professor of jazz at Loyola University New Orleans, will host a release party for its newly recorded Christmas album, “Christmas Joy.”

The Christmas CD release party takes place Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., in Roussel Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex, on Loyola’s main campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

Performed selections will include “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”

According to Mahoney, the musicians on this album are some of the best and most versatile jazz artists in southeast United States. Performers include Ray Moore, Lee Hicks, Tony Dagradi, Larry Panella, Paul Frechou and Jason Mingledorff on saxophone; Bobby Campo, Brian Graber, Jimmy Weber, Dave Blask and Riccardo Emilien on trumpet; Rick Trolsen, Greg Hicks, Jeff Albert, Jerry Verges, Charlie Halloran, and John Mahoney on trombone; Brian Prunka, guitar; Meghan Swartz, piano; Jesse Boyd, bass; David Mahoney, drums; and Michael Skinkus, percussion.

Joining the band for some Christmas lagniappe will be vocalist Leah Chase, singing select new arrangements with the ensemble.

“This Christmas album evolved over the years while playing gigs during the Christmas season,” said Mahoney. “It was a pleasure to record this CD with these fine musicians who regularly grace the bandstand when this band performs in New Orleans.”

The album was recorded at Loyola by Vital Sounds Recording. It was engineered and mixed by Danny Kadar at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, N.C., and mastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios/Sony Music Entertainment.

“It was especially gratifying to have my son, David, on drums, and my son-in-law, Danny Kadar, as chief recording engineer,” said Mahoney.

The John Mahoney Big Band, dedicated to the performance of Mahoney’s music, performed in 1992 as part of the Louisiana Jazz Composers Series, in 1995 for the Contemporary Arts Center “At the Solarium” series and appeared at the 2000 International Association of Jazz Educators conference in New Orleans.

The band has also been featured at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and at Snug Harbor. The band’s repertoire consists of well over thirty challenging compositions and arrangements by Mahoney that demand the highest improvising and reading skills of its members.

For more information, contact Mahoney at mahoney@loyno.edu or call 504-865-2164.