Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Mayhew, Virginia

Mayhew, Virginia, saxophonist, composer, arranger; b. Palo Alto, CA, 14 May 1959. Her parents and grandparents are amateur musicians.

Moved to San Francisco at age 20. There she worked in a variety of musical settings, from classical to jazz, from Earl "Fatha" Hines, to Frank Zappa. Virginia came to New York in 1987, where she enrolled in the New School's Jazz Performance program, and was awarded its Zoot Sims Memorial Scholarship. Since her arrival, Virginia has worked with Norman Simmons, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabakin, Joe Williams, Leon Parker, Clark Terry, Terry Gibbs, Kenny Barron, Chico O'Farrill, and many others.   She has appeared in most of the city's jazz venues, including the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, the Village Gate, Sweet Basil, Fat Tuesday's, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, the Jazz Standard, Lincoln Center, and Town Hall, as well as performing throughout the United States, Europe, the Newly Independent States, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Virginia has performed at many jazz festivals as a leader, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival,  the Floating Jazz Festival,  the Verizon Jazz Festival, the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the East Coast Jazz  Festival, the Panasonic Jazz Festival, the Guinness Cork (Ireland) Jazz Festival, the Verizon Music Festival, the Perth International Arts Festival, the Melbourne Jazz Festival, and other smaller festivals.
Virginia has also traveled to the Newly Independent States (formerly the USSR) as a Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department, featuring the music of Louis Armstrong, and to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Malaysia, India and Bangaladesh) demonstrating the Latin and Brazilian influence on Jazz Music. In addition, Virginia has established her credentials in the field of jazz education, both as a teacher of private students, as faculty at numerous jazz camps, and as an experienced clinician. She has traveled around the U.S.A. working as an adjudicator, teaching master classes, and working with school ensembles large and small.  Her quartet performed at the 2002 IAJE Conference. For several years, Virginia worked with veteran trombonist Al Grey.  Her arrangements were also performed during the "Battle Royale:  Trombones and Alto Saxophones" concert, which was part of the 1994 Jazz At Lincoln Center.

Phantoms; No Walls; Nini Green
As sideperson:
Sharp Five: Intersect; Al Grey: Fab (1992) ,Centerpiece (arrangements by Mayhew; 1995); Sahib Shihab: Diva; Jazz Nativity: Bending Towards the Light

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