Kermit Ruffins • Irvin Mayfield – A Beautiful World


#1 Billboard Jazz Albums! An outstanding collaboration between trumpeters and friends, Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield, celebrating 20 years of Basin Street Records with countless guest artists.


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Press for A Beautiful World

Billboard Jazz Charts Stats: #1 Jazz Albums, #1 Traditional Jazz Albums, #44 Top Album Sales Across All Genres, #11 Independent Albums, #1 Heatseekers!

Radio Chart Stats: 8 weeks continuous on JazzWeek top 40, peaking at #13; 9 weeks continuous on NACC College Jazz Top 30, peaking at #6

“It’s a non-stop celebration as well as a demonstration of the musical genius and creativity of Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield.” – Jamaal Baptist, Black Grooves

“A Beautiful World is certainly food for the soul. From its foot-tapping rhythms, groovy basslines, rich harmonies, and melodious hooks to its historical musical representations, this album is a wonderful treat for the listener and a heartfelt tribute to the city of New Orleans and Basin Street Records.” – Jamaal Baptist, Black Grooves

“Aside from jazz, Ruffins and Mayfield consistently blur the lines between funk, hip hop, rock, and even spoken word in a crafted display of musical command and diversity.” – Jacob Grossfield, Zumic

“It all works remarkably well and is a very pleasant listen. Those with a broad interest in N.O. music will especially find joy here.” – Robert D. Rusch, Cadence Magazine

“This album has the feel of a great New Orleans party record with its celebratory and soulful moods… it’s a party record that doesn’t stop.” – David Kunian, Downbeat Magazine

“This is like a stroll through the French Quarter with a cup from the Café Du Monde in your hand.” – George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“Just as Basin Street Records has done for 20 years, A Beautiful World celebrates New Orleans and its rich community of musicians.” – Geraldine Wyckoff, OffBeat Magazine

“Five Stars” – The Biloxi Sun Herald

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Album Description

A Beautiful World is a collaboration between two friends, New Orleans trumpeters Kermit Ruffins & Irvin Mayfield, featuring over 50 musicians in four configurations built around a jazz structure: big band, traditional jazz marching band, chamber orchestra and an amended funk ensemble. With the assistance of the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the album celebrates the spirit of Basin Street Records, a label that has been releasing and promoting New Orleans music for nearly twenty years, by highlighting two of its recording artists who have been with the label since the beginning. Other Basin Street Records joined the duo to represent what New Orleans music is about: The king of New Orleans brass, Rebirth Brass Band; the professorial clarinetist Dr. Michael White; the youngest of New Orleans First Family of Jazz, Jason Marsalis; and world-renowned percussionist, Bill Summers. Other notable featured artists include: Haley Reinhart of The Voice, Cyril Neville (of the Meters and Neville Brothers), New Orleans bass legend George Porter Jr. (of The Meters and countless other bands), Tremé-crooner John Boutté, the inimitable and monstrous voice of Glen David Andrews, The King of Tremé Shannon Powell, a nine-piece string ensemble, and the silky-smooth spoken word bass of New Orleans-born actor Wendell Pierce (USA’s Suits, HBO’s The Wire, HBO’s Tremé).

A Beautiful World seeks to redefine New Orleans music by providing the listener with mostly new, original music that breaches various genres all related to the roots of New Orleans, a feat that could only be accomplished by bringing in such a wide variety of talent, young and old. With Mayfield at the producing helm, the listener is treated to the familiar big band and traditional jazz sounds that launched Ruffins to local stardom over twenty years ago with lushly-orchestrated versions of tracks like “Good Morning New Orleans”, “Drop Me Off In New Orleans”, and “When The Saints Go Marching In”. Kermit’s roots with Rebirth Brass Band are not ignored with a “Do Whatcha Wanna” interlude. Mayfield brings the listener forward in time to a different part of New Orleans musical history with several tracks reminiscent of the originators of New Orleans funk, The Meters, and enlisted the help of two of the actual members to make sure that sound was authentic on tracks like “Be My Lady” and “Good Life”. A nod is also made to one of the most influential figures in New Orleans musical history, arranger/producer/musician Allen Toussaint, with a song named in his honor and about the reverence that so many New Orleans musicians have for the man. The most modern format of New Orleans music, namely bounce, a brand of New Orleans-grown hip-hop is also represented with “Trumpet Bounce”.

Where A Beautiful World may catch the casual listener off-guard is in its vision of what New Orleans music will grow into with the decidedly pop sounds of the classic Bobby McFerrin tune “Don’t Worry Be Happy” featuring Jason Marsalis in his singing debut (and also playing a plethora of percussion instruments) along with the unrivaled vocal combination of Cyril Neville, Haley Reinhart, and Glen David Andrews. The true gem of the album, “Beautiful World”, sets the precedent for the versatility and creativity of New Orleans not just as a city of jazz music, but simply as a city of good music. The song not only conveys a message of hope in tumultuous times à la Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”, but it also breathes fresh air into the New Orleans music scene.

A Beautiful World is available now on all digital platforms and on CD at your local record store and from A limited edition Vinyl version (which includes a digital download) is also available from and in New Orleans record stores exclusively (come visit to pick one up).

Liner Notes

Track List

  1. Well, Alright (5:13)
  2. Kermit, Turn It Down Interlude (feat. Wendell Pierce) (:22)
  3. Drop Me Off in New Orleans (feat. Dr. Michael White) (2:32)
  4. Don’t Worry Be Happy (feat. Jason Marsalis, Cyril Neville, Haley Reinhart, Glen David Andrews) (5:03)
  5. Irvin, Turn It Up Interlude (feat. Wendell Pierce) (:11)
  6. Good Life (feat. Bailey Flores, Glen David Andrews, John Boutté) (4:56)
  7. Good Morning New Orleans (4:22)
  8. You Don’t Look Good Interlude (feat. Wendell Pierce) (:29)
  9. Mystic (4:32)
  10. Dad, Turn It Up Interlude (feat. Irvin Mayfield III) (:23)
  11. Move on Ahead (feat. Jolynda “Kiki” Chapman) (5:19)
  12. Practicing Interlude (feat. The Urban Cellist) (:32)
  13. Just Playin’ (feat. Wendell Brunious, Leroy Jones, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, Andrew Baham) (3:19)
  14. Soul Sister Interlude (feat. DJ Soul Sister) (:37)
  15. Sister Soul (feat. Wendell Pierce, Bill Summers) (4:15)
  16. Allen Toussaint (feat. Cyril Neville) (3:48)
  17. King Lear Interlude (feat. Wendell Pierce) (:28)
  18. Beautiful World [for Imani] (feat. Haley Reinhart) (4:36)
  19. Do Whatcha Wanna Interlude (feat. Rebirth Brass Band) (2:21)
  20. Be My Lady (feat. Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr.) (5:40)
  21. Footwork (feat. Rebirth Brass Band, Cyril Neville) (2:30)
  22. Trumpet Bounce (1:23)
  23. Lexine (feat. Denisia) (2:45)
  24. Li’l Liza Jane Interlude (1:26)
  25. Just A Closer Walk With Thee (feat. Topsy Chapman, Jolynda “Kiki” Chapman, Yolanda Robinson) (4:05)
  26. When the Saints Go Marching In (2:48)


Kermit Ruffins – Trumpet, Vocals
Irvin Mayfield – Trumpet, Flugel Horn, Vocals, Piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Vocoder, Talkbox, Tambourine, Conductor

Basin Street Records Recording Artists

Rebirth Brass Band (19,21)
Dr. Michael White – Clarinet (3)
Jason Marsalis – Vibraphone, Marimba, Whistle, Woodblocks, Voice, Shakers, Snaps, Claps, Chest Drum (4,15)
Bill Summers – Percussion (6,9,15,18,20,24)

Featured Artists

Cyril Neville – Vocals (4,16,18,20,21,24)
George Porter Jr. – Bass (6,9,15,20,24)
John Boutté – Vocals (6,11,20)
Haley Reinhart – Vocals (4,6,9,11,18)
Glen David Andrews – Vocals (4,6,18,20)
Topsy Chapman – Vocals (24,25)
Wendell Pierce – Vocals (2,5,8,15,17)
Denisia – Vocals (23)
Shannon Powell – Drums (13,25)
Phil Frazier – Tuba (19,21)
Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown – Vocals, Trumpet (1,3,6,7,9,11,13,16,18,19,20)
Wendell Brunious – Trumpet (13)
Leroy Jones – Trumpet (13,19,26)
Gregory Stafford – Trumpet (19)
Jamal Batiste – Drums (6,9,15,20,24)
Shane Theriot – Guitar (6,9,15,20,24)
Darren Towns – Bass Drum (19,21)
Ajay Mallery Sr. – Snare Drum (19,21)
Jolynda “Kiki” Chapman – Vocals (6,11,24,25)
Yolanda Robinson – Vocals (24,25)
Bailey Flores – Vocals (4,6,16)
DJ Soul Sister – Vocals (14)
Khari Allen Lee – Alto Saxophone/Flute (1,3,4,7,9,11,16,18)
Jeronne Amari Ansari – Alto Saxophone (1,3,7,9,11,18)
John Díaz-Cortés – Saxophone, Bass Clarinet (4,16)
Ricardo Pascal – Tenor Saxophone (1,7,9,11,16,18)
Ed “Sweetbread” Petersen – Tenor Saxophone (1,3,4,7,9,11,16,18)
Trevarri Huff-Boone – Baritone Saxophone (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
TJ Norris – Trombone (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Emily Fredrickson – Trombone (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Jon Ramm-Gramenz – Trombone (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Bernard Floyd – Trumpet (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Eric Lucero – Trumpet (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Ashlin Parker – Trumpet (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Alex Massa – Trumpet (1,3,7,9,11,16,18)
Andrew Baham – Trumpet (13,19,26)
Ronald Markham – Piano, Fender Rhodes, B3 Organ, Wurlitzer, Synthesizers, Track Programming (1,3,6,7,9,11,13,15,16,18,20,22,23,24,25,26)
Grayson Brockamp – Bass (1,7,13,16,25,26)
Steve Glenn – Tuba (3,19,21)
Adonis Rose – Drums (1,3,7,11,16)
Jim Atwood – String Organizer
Ben Thacher – Violin (7,9,18)
Benjamin Hart – Violin (7,9,18)
Byron Tauchi – Violin (7,9,18)
Hannah Yim – Violin (7,9,18)
Richard Woehrle  – Viola (7,9,18)
Bruce Owen – Viola (7,9,18)
Ila Rondeau – Viola (7,9,18)
Jonathan Gerhardt – Cello (7,9,18)
Dimitri Vychko – Cello (7,9,18)
The Urban Cellist – Cello, Vocals (12)
Percy Williams – Percussion (23)
Camille Lenain – Ukulele (18)
Irvin Mayfield III – Vocals (10)


Produced by Irvin Mayfield
Executive Producer: Mark Samuels
Associate Producer: John Díaz-Cortés
Engineered by Irvin Mayfield, Jesse Snider, John Díaz-Cortés, Misha Kachkachishvili at Esplanade Studios, New Orleans, LA
Mixed by Misha Kachkachishvili at Esplanade Studios, New Orleans, LA
Mastered by Bruce Barielle at Music Shed Studios, New Orleans, LA

Liner Note

As we approached two decades we knew we wanted to have a big year that reflected on the past and kicked off our future. This album is the centerpiece marking our 20th anniversary and the 300th of the city of New Orleans. With the tremendous support of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau we asked our two most recorded artists, who have performed periodically with each other for 25 years, to collaborate and bring in dozens of great musicians to help. Irvin and Kermit bring out the best in the other, and we get to witness the result in this outstanding record!

They say time flies when you are having fun and this has been the trip of a lifetime.  We can’t wait for the next twenty and we hope you join us in our love and appreciation for the music and traditions of this great city! Thank you for buying music!



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