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Virginia Mayhew has performed throughout the US, Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and Bermuda, and has been an active participant in the NY jazz scene since 1987.

Virginia has performed at Carnegie Hall and many of NYC’s finest jazz venues.

She has also been featured as a leader at many jazz festivals, both within the United States and abroad, and has traveled twice as a representative of the United States as a Jazz Ambassador (in the tradition of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington), once to the Newly Independent States and a second time to Southeast Asia.

Virginia is also the saxophonist and musical director of the Duke Ellington Legacy, an 8-piece group founded by two of Duke Ellington’s grandchildren, Edward Ellington II and Gaye Ellington.

Some of her notable albums are the critically acclaimed Mary Lou Williams’ Next 100 Years and  Thank You Uncle Edward.

She has been featured in Downbeat, Jazziz and JazzTimes magazines.

Right now, you are listening to What’s Your  Story Morning Glory featuring Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, from the Mary Lou Williams Next 100 Years Project.

Songs playing in the background during the podcast:

Virginia Mayhew Quartet – Medi i

What’s the Story Morning Glory

We talked about:

  • How Donna first met Virginia & the impact of female Big Bands
  • When she decided to make music as a career
  • Her biggest mentor early in her career – Johnny Coppola
  • How she met George Cables
  • How she learned improvisation
  • How she makes her solos interesting
  • Inspiration behind “Mary Lou Williams: The Next 100 Years” album
  • Having a beginner’s mind
  • and more!


Here’s the Video:







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