"What A Wonderful World"
2014 Art Contest Winners' Gallery

March 7th- March 8th


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New Orleans Jazz Celebration

NOJC merchandise

now available!!

Click Here to Visit our Online Store

Buy some gifts and support jazz education! All proceeds go to supporting our nonprofit outreach programs!

All artwork by Chuck Siler

Wednesdays in March!

Spring 2015

Lineup is here! 


March 29th: Davell Crawford & The Creole Jazz Men



Click on pictures to get more information


November 9th, 2014

The UNO Jazz All-Stars Visit Vista Shores.

Happy Birthday Mr. Batiste! 

Click to view Nickel Fall 2014!




April 1: Spring Break

April 8: Drummer Paul Wiltgen

April 15: Guitarist Warren Batiste

April 22:  Saxophonist Rick Margitza

April 29: Trumpeter Christian Scott

Click here to read more!

Al Belletto Memorial Serivce 

New Orleans jazz saxophonist, Al Belletto, passed away on December 26th, at the age of 86. Belletto’s successful career as a recording artist and bandleader earned him high recognition and praise amongst musicians and jazz fans alike. Equally proficient on the clarinet as well as the sax, Belletto toured nationally and internationally and had a recording career with major labels including Capitol Records, dating back to the 1950s and ’60s.


The New Orleans native began his professional career at 16 cutting his teeth in Bourbon street clubs, while at the same time working toward his undergraduate degree at Loyola University. Belletto began working with Louis Prima, Sharkey Bonano, Wingy Manone and the Dukes of Dixieland, before forming his own group in 1952. He earned his master’s degree at LSU and later traveled to New York, where he made friends with Mel Tormé . Tormé introduced him to bandmaster Stan Kenton, who helped land Belletto his first recording deal. 

In 1958 Belletto’s sextet was absorbed into Woody Herman’s orchestra for a state department tour of South and Central America. When he returned to New Orleans, Belletto became director of entertainment for the Playboy Club chain as well as gigging around town with Ellis Marsalis and directing for the Al Hirt Big Band. Prominent musicians of the big band included Johnny Vidacovich, Bill Huntington, Michael Pellera, Richard Payne, John Mahoney and Rick Trolsen, who referred to Al as “Coach” reflecting the warmth and admiration they felt towards him.

Al Belletto’s presence in the community was apparent as a member of the board of directors of the original New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where he performed for 35 years. In 1968, Belletto successfully pressed for a policy guaranteeing not only that the city’s prominent black musicians would be presented at the festival but that they also would receive compensation commensurate with the white musicians, a proud achievement during the Civil Rights era. He also was a founding performer at the French Quarter Festival and served as a music educator, performing at schools as part of programs organized by the Louisiana Jazz Federation.
He is survived by his wife, a son and two grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of Al’s life at the New Orleans Musicians Union Hall, 2401 Esplanade Ave., on Saturday f rom 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thanks for another

successful Sandbar! 

A big thanks to all who have support our Jazz at the Sandbar Fall 2014 Series. We will be back in the spring, beginning the first Wednesday in March, with another exciting lineup! If you have pictures you would like to share from this series or would like to receive future notifications via our Sandbar mailing list please contact: lilly@jazzcent.com

See you in March!



For five generations the Barbarin family has contributed immeasurably to the music of New Orleans. Lucien Barbarin has a command of the trombone and love for performing which establishes him as one of the city's premier musical ambassadors. He tours internationally, from the North Sea to the White House, with both the Preservation Hall Band and with Harry Connick Jr’ Big Band. 

Jazz at the Sandbar is designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with respected professional musicians in front of a live audience. The series is presented on Wednesday nights during the fall and spring semesters and features a different respected jazz artist each week. It also provides a medium in which students exercise their improvisational skills and gives them the rare opportunity to work with jazz masters.



Jazz @The Sandbar Fall 2014

Series is Here!

October 1st- Ellis Marsalis

It is becoming a tradition that jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar and this year is no exception. Dr. Marsalis was the first Endowed Chair of the UNO Jazz Studies Department and served in that capacity from 1990 until his retirement in 2001. He is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father figure to a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the jazz scene. Together with his sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, the Marsalis clan is often referred to as “The First Family of Jazz.” Ellis will be joined by the Thelonious Monk Assemble under the direction of Steve Masakowski and a second combo under the direction of Victor Atkins. 

Jazz at the Sandbar is designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with respected professional musicians in front of a live audience. The series is presented on Wednesday nights during the fall and spring semesters and features a different respected jazz artist each week. It also provides a medium in which students exercise their improvisational skills and gives them the rare opportunity to work with jazz masters.

Click here to see the full lineup! 

"What a Wonderful World"

Art Contest 2014

NOJC's annual art contest held August 8th honors the legacy of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong through artistic work from local students with the focus on the essence of the jazz music in the Crescent City.

Click here to see the winning pieces! 

"Satchmo of Japan" Returns to Christopher Inn

Yoshio Toyama, who has played for years at the Christopher Inn during Satchmo Summerfest, returns for a special performance.

Click here to


Trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, who enjoyed a late-in-life celebrity as the oldest active jazz musician in New Orleans, died early Saturday, July 19. He celebrated his 103rd birthday two nights earlier, on July 17, at a party at the Palm Court Jazz Café, a favorite venue of his. Mr. Ferbos was the personification of quiet dedication to craft. Even some residents of his 7th Ward neighborhood, he once said, didn't realize he was a musician — they knew him as a master tinsmith who had taken over his father's sheet metal business. That occupation sustained him and his family for decades. But he always nurtured a musical career on the side. 

He last performed publicly on March 30 for a Sunday afternoon gig at the "Nickel-a-Dance" traditional jazz series at the Maison on Frenchmen Street.

 By Keith Spera, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune




A consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene, trumpeter Lew Soloff’s career is filled with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. Soloff is known as a virtuoso with tremendous range and superior technical command, yet he exudes a wisdom for quietness and melody. Soloff’s expertise includes trumpet, flugelhorn, harmon mute, plunger mute and he is particularly recognized for his work on piccolo trumpet. This classically trained jazz player’s diverse background has allowed him to perform with the likes of some Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Frank Sinatra, as well as Blues legends John Mayall and Dr. John.

Remembering MLK

The George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans hosted Martin Luther King Jr. Family Day on Saturday. The program, produced by the Guardians Institute, New Orleans Jazz Celebration and the New Orleans chapter of the National Conference of Artists, included a presentation by local Freedom Rider Dodie Smith-Simmons, a jazz performance, an original birthday song honoring King by Big Chief Brian Harrison Nelson and tours of the Mardi Gras Indian exhibit “Donald Harrison Sr.: The Legacy Continues.”

Article courtesy of The Nerw Orleans Advocate

Red Dress Run Donates to NOJC

The New Orleans Jazz Celebration was awarded a $3,000 grant this November from the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, organizers of the Red Dress Run. NOJC is one of the two dozen charities funded this year by their organization. 

President Claudia Garofalo, Curt McClain of the Red Dress Run and Executive Director Jason Patterson. 

"Thank you to all our supporters of this fall's Jazz @ the Sandbar at the University of New Orleans. It was a rousing success with a grand finale by Randy Brecker and two great student combos under the direction of Steve Masakowski and Brian Seeger. We want to see everyone back for the beginning of the spring 2014 series on Wednesday, March 12."



New Orleans Jazz Celebration's

"What a Wonderful World" Art Contest 2013

The New Orleans Jazz Celebration sponsored a children’s art contest in honor of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong on August 9, 2013 at 4:00pm. 

The event was held at the Jazz and Heritage Foundation located at 1205 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA.

Click an image for more info!

The Grand Prize winner and first-place winners of each category will receive gift certificates. The Grand Prize winner’s artwork will be framed by Michael’s of Elmwood. The winners and some of the other entrants may have their artwork featured on the New Orleans Jazz Celebration’s web site and in other promotional materials. Sponsor of the event Excelth, Inc Community Primary Health Care will be awarding cash prizes to the winners at a follow-up event in September.


2013 1st Place Winners:

Category: K-2nd

Asia Williams

2nd Grade – McDonogh 42

Categoy: 3rd – 5th

Ronald Lewis

4th Grade ­– Bethune Elementary

Category: 6th – 8th

Kyrielle Griller

6th Grade – Hynes Charter

Categorgy: 9th – 12th


10th Grade – McDonogh 35


Sara Hollis, Ph.D

Shira Hussain

Ivan Watkins

Particpating Schools include:

Bethune Elementary School

Hynes Charter School

McDonogh 42 Charter School

McDonogh 35 High School

Ashe Cultural Center

Birthday Breakfast Bash

for Louis Armstrong

Thursday, July 4, 2013, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

1930 Independence St.

Donald Harrison, Sr. Museum

This event is FREE and open to the public!

The Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indian tribe will pay tribute to Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong on July 4 – his preferred birthday. Birthday donuts will be served in a special display featuring 112 pastries to equal Satchmo’s age. A special exhibit created by the New Orleans Jazz Celebration will honor Armstrong’s life and career.

Big Chief Brian Harrison Nelson will perform an original birthday song to honor Armstrong. The bash will feature an informance by Maroon Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson with Young Guardians of the Flame. Jackie Harris, director of the Louis Armstrong House and Museum (Corona, NY), will deliver remarks.

Special guests invited to perform will include Dewan Scott and the Jazzy Men Trio.


1955 - 2013

Mulgrew Miller at Sandbar April 3rd with Victor Atkins Combo: Jeronne Ansari, Mulgrew, Emily Fredrickson, Georgi Petrov, Jordan Baker below, Tanarat Chaichana, Peter Varnado and Brian Murray with trumpet.

Click on picture to get more information.


On behalf of NOJC, Jason Patterson accepts a $4000 check from NOJ&HF Program Director Scott Aiges at a ceremony on October 19th. The funds are provided through the Foundation's Community Partnership Grant and will go toward artist fees for the Nickel a Dance series next Spring 2013.

New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp

The New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp for Adults has campers coming from 28 states as well as Argentina, UK, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Finland to take music instruction from some of the best musicians in the city.  The New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp for Adults will also feature a night of Hot Jazz at Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, on Thursday June 14th with performances at 8pm and 10pm. Camp faculty, with New York City reed man Dan Levinson and Argentinians Luis Alasino on clarinet and Francisco Castillo on alto sax, will perform Hot Jazz selections. Banu Gibson, Camp Executive Director, will host as MC. For more information about the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp for Adults visit www.neworleanstradjazzcamp.com.

International Jazz Day

The inaugural International Jazz Day was celebrated by millions worldwide on Monday, April 30, and begun with an all-star sunrise concert at 7am in New Orleans’ Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz.

A number of jazz luminaries along with Hancock, including Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Bill Summers, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Dr. Michael White, and Roland Guerin played on the concert April 30, which coincided with the last day of what has been celebrated as Jazz Appreciation Month in the U.S., and followed the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Hancock performed his classic “Watermelon Man” with high school students. The concert opened with ritual drumming led by Luther Gray and concluded with a traditional second line with Treme Brass Band.

In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the initiative aimed to encourage and recognize jazz music as a universal language of freedom. All-star concerts were held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the official kick-off on April 27, and begun in the United States at sunrise in New Orleans at Congo Square and concluded at sunset in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

For more information about International Jazz Day, check out the UNESCO website.



Ed Petersen, Brent Rose & Sam Wisemen from UNO Jazz Studies 2nd Line though the new Sandbar in the Cove.

Crowd at Sandbar opening

UNO Jazz Studies program celebrates the return of the Sandbar at the new Cove 

Jazz @ the Sandbar will be returning to its home for its spring 2012 season. Originally built in 1973 as a student food and recreation center, the Cove quickly became the center of campus life. In 1990, UNO jazz studies Chairman Ellis Marsalis turned The Sandbar into a living laboratory where UNO students performed with national and international jazz artists. The Cove was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and had to be completely gutted and rebuilt. At long last, the grand opening took place on Friday December 2nd, and it reunited students, faculty and community members with a big celebration.

The ribbon cutting was celebrated by Governor Bobby Jindal, University of Louisiana System President Dr. Randy Moffett, former Jazz Studies Director Dr. Ellis Marsalis, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Artistic Director Irvin Mayfield, Norma Jane Sabiston of the UNO International Alumni Association Board of Directors and Student Government President John Mineo. Current and former UNO Jazz studies faculty Ellis Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, Ed Petersen, Irvin Mayfield, Brian Seeger & Sam Wisemen gave a great performance in the new stage to kick off the celebrations.

The new spring 2012 season of the Jazz at the Sandbar is expected to be held at the new Sandbar at the Cove during the months of March and April.

Ed Petersen, Brent Rose & Sam Wisemen from UNO Jazz Studies 2nd Line though the new Sandbar in the Cove.

Cove grand opening brings out Jazz @ the Sandbar co-founders Dr. Charlie Blancq and Ellis Marsalis with current producer Jason Patterson and UNO Music Dept big wig Missy Bowen.

Ed Petersen, Brent Rose & Sam Wisemen from UNO Jazz Studies 2nd Line though the new Sandbar in the Cove.

Ed Petersen, Brent Rose & Sam Wisemen 2nd Line though the new Sandbar in the Cove.

New Orleans Jazz Celebration is a nonprofit organization initiated by the Louisiana Music Commission in 1993 and incorporated as the New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration in 1994.  Our mission is to preserve, promote, and perpetuate jazz, America’s original art form, through educational outreach to audiences of all ages. NOJC’s outreach focuses on youth and offers a wide array of informative and entertaining activities designed to spread the rich history of jazz and move the art form forward.