New Orleans jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield has toured the world, released multiple albums, won multiple awards (including a Grammy), and his "All The Saints" program is credited with kickstarting the post-Katrina healing process. He's a master of his craft, respected by all, but he's still a jazz trumpeter, one who long ago drowned in the post-Napster muck of "all music is free" like the rest of us. So, he needs money. And what better place to get it than the giant library he ran because his best friend was secretly the worst non-crackhead mayor of all time?
Chris Graythen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
This guy was briefly a hero. Problem is, real life lasts a lot longer than "briefly."
After Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin hired Mayfield, not as a cultural ambassador or even a guy who shouts HEAR YE HEAR YE before trumpeting Nagin's arrival like the great Caesars of past. No, he appointed Mayfield chairman of the city's public library system. What does a jazz dude and a bunch of books have in common, you ask? Presumably: "He's my friend, fuck you," says the mayor, who is now in prison for 10 years, coincidentally.
For a while, Mayfield operated his system on the up-and-up, raising up to $900,000 in donations each year and giving it all to the library in the most "bare minimum" job performance this side of a Subway worker who doesn't jerk off into the honey mustard. But then, in 2012, he made like The Brain and started pondering evil, terrible ideas. Using naught but the power of jazz, he convinced the other board members to change their mission statement from fundraising for "the benefit of the New Orleans Public Library" to fundraising for "literacy and community organizations." Like his own New Orleans Jazz Orchestra? Of course.
Los Angeles Public Library
By that definition, a homeless busker playing "The Final Countdown" on kazoo
should get at least $50K to follow his dreams.
That year, the library got punched right in its financial dick with a mere $116,775 in funding, barely enough to keep Fifty Shades Darker in stock. The orchestra, meanwhile, got $666,000, because otherwise Mayfield might've had to fund the thing with some of his $148,050 salary. Please -- he didn't become an evil genius by being stupid.
He dialed down the greed in 2013, steering a mere $197,000 in library donations to his stupid trumpet, but it takes only one run of selfish chicanery for the auditors (and federal government) to take notice. While the investigation is still ongoing, the pressure of knowing the FBI gives zero shits about sexy, swingin' solos was enough for Mayfield to leave the library system and the University Of New Orleans, where he had been getting $63,000 a year (in addition to his six figures from NOJO, mind) to teach two classes that, apparently, nobody attended.
University Of New Orleans
The only search term less popular than "Kim Davis masturbates."
Oh, and that album he won a Grammy for? Funded with $23,000 of a $125,000 public grant to run the grand opening of the Mahalia Jackson Theater Of The Performing Arts. Which only supports my long-standing belief that jazz is devil music and anyone supporting it is in league with Satan.
Jason has never jerked off into honey mustard. Other condiments, though? That's for his Facebook and Twitter followers to know, and for you to find out by becoming one.
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