When a jazz band showcases tunes such as “Better Get to Higher Ground” and “Hold the Water,” it doesn’t take long to figure out that they hail from the Big Easy — er, the Big Difficult. Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra were among the first acts to perform in the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and President Bush bestowed Mayfield with a jeweled Elysian Trumpet symbolizing “the bold spirit of a determined and resilient people.” Named after the Elysian Fields of Greek mythology as well as the street in New Orleans where Mayfield’s father was found dead after the storm, the trumpet is one of a dozen instruments played by this group of world-class musicians who enjoy a bit of showboating. They’ll tackle Christmas arrangements by Duke Ellington, Charles Brown and Louis Armstrong at 7:30 tonight at the Folly Theater (300 West 12th Street, 816-474-4444). Tickets for Home for the Holidays range from $20 to $70 and can be ordered from harriman-jewell.org.
Thu., Dec. 18, 2008