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Blue Dog piano at center stage

Blue Dog piano

Blue Dog piano

On Friday, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) play an encore New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI) Masters Series performance dedicated to pianist and Marsalis family patriarch Ellis Marsalis, producer, composer and arranger Harold Battiste, and the late drummer James Black.

University of New Orleans (UNO) professors Steve Masakowski, Victor Atkins and Edward Petersen – with Grammy Award-winning Irvin Mayfield,NOJO, and special guest Ellis Marsalis – will debut big band arrangements of each featured Jazz Masters’ music. The concert, which is sponsored by The Advocate and The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), will be at the Joy Theater in New Orleans on Friday, June 21; doors will open at 7 PM, and the show will begin at 8.

A partnership with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA), the night will also feature The Rodrigue Steinway "Blue Dog Piano." The piano – painted by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue and donated by Hall Piano Company – will benefit LSU's School of Music and the arts in education initiatives of GRFA. Rodrigue will also be in attendance as a special guest.

For tickets and information, visit www.theNOJO.com. NOJO and GRFA will also raffle a Rodrigue "You Can't Drown the Blues"print that has been signed by Rodrigue, Irvin Mayfield, Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste. Raffle tickets are bring sold online at www.georgerodriguefoundation.org.

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]