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Jazz concert offers heartfelt farewell to prominent local jazz educator

Loyola press release - April 28, 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.

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

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