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Loyola Jazz Band concert offers heartfelt farewell to prominent local jazz educator

Loyola press release - April 25, 2014

During a free Loyola University New Orleans Jazz Band concert Tuesday, April 29, student jazz musicians will bid a moving musical farewell to beloved jazz educator and Loyola professor John Mahoney, who retires this year. The special concert, which is open to the public, features three of Mahoney’s own pieces as well as one piece by former student Wayne Mitchell ‘13. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall located in the Communications/Music Complex on the university’s main campus.

“John is an international figure–his dedication and artistic excellence has done much to ensure that Loyola’s jazz program is one of the top 10 in the United States. His abilities as an arranger, performer and conductor are simply extraordinary. As a teacher and mentor he has very few equals; our students love and respect him deeply,” said Loyola College of Music & Fine Arts Dean Donald Boomgaarden, Ph.D.

The 21 students in the Loyola Jazz Band will perform nine total pieces during the evening program, including “Anticipating Colorado,” “Kenny” and “Dave’s Samba” by Mahoney. The highly personal and soul-searching piece “Kenny,” for example, is about a 12-year-old boy who passed away in Mahoney’s neighborhood when his children were growing up. Mitchell will return to his alma mater to direct his piece, “Ongoing Story.”

For Mahoney, the concert is bittersweet as it represents his last Loyola performance with the Loyola Jazz Band, a group he’s spent more than 30 years nurturing. A professor at Loyola since 1978, Mahoney is also an active performer on both trombone and piano. “In From Somewhere,” a CD of 10 of Mahoney’s big band compositions featuring 18 outstanding musicians from the New Orleans area was released on the New Orleans Music Group label. Mahoney is also a regular performer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In fact, the Loyola Jazz Band will perform at Jazz Fest this year Thursday, May 1 at 11:15 a.m. on the Samsung Galaxy Stage.

Other Loyola connections—including students, faculty and alumni—are also performing in Jazz Fest:

  • Friday, April 25: Vox and the Hound (featuring former Loyola student Andrew Jarman);
  • Sunday, April 27: TYSSON (featuring Loyola alumni John Michael Rouchell ‘09 and Joe Shirley ‘10) and Astral Project (featuring Loyola saxophone professor Tony Dagradi);
  • Thursday, May 1: Flow Tribe (featuring Loyola alumnus Mario Palmisano ‘10);
  • Friday, May 2: Loyola alumna Mia Borders ‘10, the Cardinal Sons (featuring Loyola alumni and brothers John Shirley ‘07, Joe Shirley ‘10 and David Shirley ‘11) and the John Mahoney Big Band; and
  • Saturday, May 3: The Revivalists (featuring Loyola alumni Andrew Campanelli ‘09 and George Gekas ‘09), Alexis & the Samurai (featuring Loyola former student Sam Craft and bandmate Alexis Marceaux) and Ellis Marsalis M.M.E. ‘86, H ‘07.

For media interviews or high-resolution photos, please contact Mikel Pak, Loyola associate director of public affairs.