14 May 1959, Palo Alto, California, USA. Encouraged into a life in music through the enthusiasm of musical parents and grandparents, Mayhew began playing clarinet at the age of 10 before switching to alto saxophone while in her mid-teens, at which time she played in the high school jazz band. At the end of her teens, she moved to San Francisco, extending her studies through schools and private tuition. Her first professional engagement was with John Coppola, one of her tutors, and during the early 80s she played with a number of musicians, from jazz, pop and rock, when they visited the area. Among these artists were Cab Calloway, Earl Fatha Hines and Frank Zappa. She also led her own small group and co-led a band with trumpeter Rebecca Franks, which recorded in 1988 for Philology Records and appeared at the 1990 Monterey Jazz Festival.
Meanwhile, in the late 80s, Mayhew relocated to New York City. There, she continued with her...