NOCCA Alumni/UNO students travel to Russia
A small fleet of University of New Orleans students, faculty and alumni recently returned from a 10-day trip to Moscow, where they provided music for Russia’s top star search television program and played a concert for the U.S. Ambassador and his guests.
“We did play a really amazing concert at the house of the U.S. Ambassador – it was called Spaso House – for about 400,” said UNO Al Beletto Professor of Jazz Studies Ed Petersen. “That was wonderful.”
Five saxophones, three trombones, four trumpets, one pianist, one bass player, one drummer and two vocalists from the UNO greater community joined Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and UNO Professor of Professional Practice Irvin Mayfield, Jr. on the trip. The musicians travelled to Moscow on a 9-day stint of “nearly constant filming and rehearsing” for a star search program on Kultura TV that loosely approximates American Idol, with various contestants competing to be named the nation’s top jazz musician, said Petersen, who is a Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and associate chair of the UNO Department of Music. They travelled with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and served as the show’s house band, with Mayfield conducting and performing on trumpet.