Irvin Mayfield, Jr. Unveils THE ELYSIAN TRUMPET
A Modern Jazz Artifact to Honor Hurricane Katrina Victims
New Orleans, La. -
Conceived by New Orleans Cultural Ambassador Irvin Mayfield, Jr., the Elysian Trumpet is perhaps one of the most guarded and elaborate musical instruments ever made. The instrument was originally commissioned as homage to Irvin Mayfield, Sr., who died following Hurricane Katrina and was found on Elysian Fields Blvd. However, the instrument, which will be unveiled just two days before the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, has taken on a life of its own as a symbol of hope and rebirth. A traveling emblem of the vibrancy of New Orleans, Mr. Mayfield will tour with the Elysian Trumpet around the world, performing with his renowned New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (www.thenojo.com). It will serve to honor the lineage of jazz in America and the memory of all who perished due to Hurricane Katrina.
The trumpet was created by David Monette of Portland, Ore., who is considered one of the world's premiere trumpet makers. Mr. Monette used a unique application of computer design and fabrication technology that enhanced his traditional craftsmanship to make the Elysian Trumpet both esthetically and acoustically the most beautiful trumpet he has ever created. The artistic flare and metal work was performed by nationally known artist and goldsmith Tami Dean. The horn will be placed on constant armed guard accompanied by a member of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Department wherever it goes. It will be insured by Lloyd's of London for $1 million.
Music as a Blessed Voice of God
Before the horn began production last fall, the bell (the first part of the instrument to be built) was dedicated by local religious leaders at a service in Christ Church Cathedral commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Participants included Episcopal Bishop Charles Jenkins, Imam Rafeeq Nu'Man and Rabbi Ed Cohn. "The instrument has been blessed by representatives of three of the world's largest religions," said Mr. Mayfield. "Yet because it is a symbol of ecumenical and interfaith renewal, in the months and years ahead, leaders from the world's major religions will be given the opportunity to add their blessings to this magnificent symbol. The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the world's 50 million member Anglican Communion, is expected to inaugurate this tradition during his historic visit to New Orleans in September." The completed horn will receive its inaugural blessing by the Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, during a service at Christ Church Cathedral in September where the trumpet will be kept in a special vault.
A Working Piece of Art
The Elysian Trumpet has a brushed 24k gold finish with braces that are decorated with icons and symbols representing New Orleans' deceased heroes and many of our jazz legends and cultural icons. The icons are meticulously saw-pierced, a highly-specialized technique for treating and shaping metal, through the metal braces. The valve casing of the trumpet is prominently decorated with a striking Fleur De Lis. The instrument is adorned with jewels and semi-precious stones. A beautiful turquoise Mississippi River runs the length of the instrument and a brilliant faceted ruby marks the location of New Orleans. A hurricane motif is cut into the sheet bracing and along the bell of the instrument. The finger buttons are inlaid with Mardi Gras colored semi- precious stones. And lilies are cut into most every element of the instrument in keeping with the Elysian Fields theme. The Stewards of the Elysian Trumpet have responsibility for its maintenance and oversee its use:
Elizabeth A. Boh
E. Renae Conley
Richard Michael Conley
David Allard duPlantier, Spiritual Warden
Jeffery Brian Goldring
William H. Hines
Big Daddy K
Ronald Markham, Jr.
Irvin Mayfield, Jr., Artistic Warden
Daniel Fredric Packer, Jr.