NEW ORLEANS – Loyola saxophone instructor Jason Mingledorff and his New Orleans band the Nightcrawlers received their first Grammy win after 25 years of working together. The critically acclaimed Nightcrawlers Brass Band, won a Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album for their 2020 album “Atmosphere.”
The band recently described their creative experience and excitement over their first nomination in an interview on WWL-TV’s Great Day Louisiana. The group began as a writer’s workshop and grew through years of performances and friendship. A win, they said, would draw beloved New Orleans brass band music and the city’s famed brass band community to national attention at a pivotal time. The Nightcrawlers are longtime members of the New Orleans night music scene.
“It’s so incredible to share this award with this band which I’ve been playing with longer than any other group I’ve been in – over 25 years,” said Jason Mingledorff. “The Nightcrawlers continue to inspire me and remind me why I fell in love with New Orleans.”
Mingledorff, who teaches group and private saxophone instruction in the century-old School of Music and Theatre Arts within Loyola’s acclaimed College of Music and Media, received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama and a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of New Orleans, then moved permanently in 1995 to the Crescent City, where he has become one of the most versatile and in-demand saxophonists in New Orleans.
He got his start after graduation, playing with a diverse collection of award-winning local bands, including funksters Galactic and Papa Grows Funk, bluesman Mem Shannon, and the critically praised Nightcrawlers Brass Band.
He has toured with country star Clint Black and performed and recorded with two of the city’s biggest exports – Dr. John (Grammy winning album The City That Care Forgot) and Harry Connick, Jr. (2008 NBA All-Star Halftime Show).
He has also performed with artists and groups as varied as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Wayne Newton, Frankie Valli, The O’Jays, The Band, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. He appeared in the HBO television series Tremé and a commercial for Louisiana Tourism.
In 2006, he began teaching at Loyola University and soon became the conductor of the university’s Jazz Workshop Band, as well as the assistant professor of saxophone studies.
Mingledorff, who has written for the Saxophone Journal, enjoys spreading his love for New Orleans music to not only his students, but to audiences around the world.