COURTESY BASIN STREET RECORDS
The best things in life are free, but Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO)
would like you to spend $500 on a special date-night package for its Valentine’s weekend performance “The Music of the Rolling Stones.” Among other amenities, the price includes a non-optional $300 donation to Mayfield’s beleaguered nonprofit.
A regular ticket to the Stones tribute costs $27.24.
The NOJO ignited a firestorm of criticism last year after it was revealed that its People’s Health Jazz Market project received $863,000
from the New Orleans Public Library Foundation while Mayfield controlled the boards of both organizations. The scandal flared up against last month when WWL-TV reported
that the NOJO was making noises about not paying any of the money back.
Along with the sense of philanthropic pride, your $500 date includes two tickets to the show, valet parking, welcome cocktails, a bottle of wine, a commemorative photo and a goodie bag containing chocolates, Champagne, a signed score and a copy of Mayfield’s book and CD set A Love Letter to New Orleans
(retail price $40
). You’ll still have to pay for dinner yourself.