2016 Art & Essay Contest! 

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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

 Sandbar Spring 2017






April 12th, 1990

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November 9th, 2014

Click to view Nickel Fall 2014!

Thanks for another wonderful season of Nickel-a-Dance! 

Photos courtesy of Don Keller & Andrea Duplessis.



Thank you to all that came and supported Jazz @ the Sandbar this fall. We will all meet again the first Wednesday in March 2017! Have a Jazzy Holiday season one and all!

Pianist Aaron Goldberg at Jazz at the Sandbar on November 16th.



Guitarist Hank Mackie takes the Jazz at the Sandbar stage with Steve Masakowski and Davy Mooney student combos on November 9th, 2016. 

Photos courtesy of Al Kennedy

Saxophonist Tony Dagradi performs with student
combos on November 2nd, 2016 at The Cove. 



Xavier Reed-Molina receives the 2016-17 Nate and Priscilla Gordon Scholarship for Jazz Studies on Wednesday, October 19, at the performance of Jazz at the Sandbar featuring Ingrid Jensen. Pictured are Xavier Reed-Molina, left, and Priscilla and Nate Gordon.

Sandbar Photo Credit: Don Keller & Missy Bowen


Night Out Against

Crime 2016 

On Tuesday October 19, The NOJC participated in a Night Out against Crime event at the Donald Harrison Sr. Museum Performance Pavilion. Produced by the Indian Queen Cherice Harrison and the Guardians Institute, the gathering brought the 9th Ward neighborhood together to stand up against crime and violence in New Orleans. The Institute also took the opportunity to honor their recently deceased member Edwin Harrison Sr. Edwin was brother to Institute Patriach Donald Harrison Sr and also was a Member of The Black Men of Labor and Mardi Gras Indians Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Tambourine and Fan Super Sunday Parade Organization and Congo Square Nation.

The Guardians Institute was created to service our community through education, the preservation of New Orleans' indigenous cultural arts and West African/New World oral traditions.

The National Night Out Against Crime in New Orleans is a community-wide event held every October to raise crime prevention awareness, reduce crime and increase the support of local, state and federal law enforcement.






Farewell to Pete 

The late master clarinetist Pete Fountain with Tim Laughlin.  Taken during The Connie Jones Band in Spring 2006 at the Nickel-a-Dance Series. 

We bid farewell to legendary clarinetist Pete Fountain who passed away on August 6th. Pete brought the tradtional jazz style of New Orleans to a national audience for more than six decades. Fountain combined the Swing Era sensibility of jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman with the down-home, freewheeling style characteristic of traditional New Orleans jazz to become a national star in the 1950s, when he was hired as a featured soloist on the “The Lawrence Welk Show.” He also became a favorite of Johnny Carson and made dozens of appearances on “The Tonight Show” during Carson’s long tenure at the helm of the late-night talk show.

He was a fixture at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and many festival-goers felt their pilgrimage to the Crescent City was incomplete until they heard Fountain play. He also regularly led his Half Fast Walking Club through the city’s streets during Mardi Gras festivities, and was one of its star attractions annually. 

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beverly Fountain, three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. We will miss you Pete! 

Photo Credit: Don Keller 



From the Vault: Jammin' with Jazz Informances 

Jammin with Jazz( 1993-1996) is an informance program that toured state wide throughout Louisiana with the mission to bring jazz and performing arts programs to schools and communities with little funding. Jammin with Jazz developed new audiences among students so that they can understand, enjoy and support the art form.

NOJC, Snug Harbor & Preservation Hall come together to provide music for Blue Family Appreciation 

Charmaine Neville with Chief Harrison at Blue Family Appreication. 

On Monday, August 8th Blue Family Appreciation kicked off at Story Land, City Park. Every NOPD policemen was invited to participate with their family and kids. Blue Family Appreciation is about building relationships between families of blue and about building support among each other during these difficult times.The New Orleans Jazz Celebration, Snug Harbor and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band were just a few of the sponsors of this event that came together to support the NOPD and their families with performances by The Charmaine Neville Band and The Preservation Hall Brass Band.


"What a Wonderful World"

Art- Essay Poetry Contest 201

The "What a Wonderful World" Contest is an opportunity for students in grades kindergarten through High School to participate in either an art, essay or poetry contest in honor of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. 

The contest will be held Friday, August 12th at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation on Rampart Street.


For more info visit our educational outreach page

NOETC Cox channel begins

airing Jazztown Series

Click on Juanita Brooks to see her episode now!

NOJC and New Orleans Educational Telecommunications Consortium (NOETC) are collaborating to air episodes of the acclaimed Jazz performance series "Jazztown", originally produced by the Louisiana Jazz Federation in the 1980s and 1990s. NOJC is the curator of archival materials of that organization. The following episodes will be aired on Cox Channel 95:

Women in Jazz: Juanita Brooks 

Michael Ward + Astral Project

 Women in Jazz: Barbara Short

Tribute to the Clairnet: Dr. Michael White & Alvin Batiste

The French Family

Alvin Batiste Family 

Doc Paulin & Family Band

Women in Jazz: Germaine Bazzle

Adams Brothers Band

Donald Harrison & Terrence Blanchard Quintet

Thank you for another

successful season of

 Nickel-a-Dance and

Jazz @ the Sandbar.

See you in Fall 2016!




Sandbar Spring 2016!

Deanna Witkowski 





Sandbar Fall Series a great success!! 


Ellis Marsalis performing on Oct 7th.

Students performing with Guitarist/Banjoist Carl LeBlanc on Nov 4th.

NOJC Board Member Eugenia Adams with Trombone Shorty 

Nicholas Payton performing with students on Oct. 21st 

Photos courtesy of Don Keller. 

Satchmo Art Contest Contest 2015

The judging of our annual Satchmo Art Contest will take place:
4:00p.m on Friday, 7 August 2015 in
New Orleans Jazz Heritage Foundation's Art Gallery
1205 N. Rampart, NOLA

Judging will happen between 3:30-4:30pm
At 4:30pm The New Orleans Jazz Celebration will welcome all guests and the winners of our "What a Wonderful World" Essay/Poetry Contest will be invited to read their winning compositions.
We will then announce the winners for the Art Contest.
Winners will be awarded prizes and all participants of both contests will receive NOJC Certificates.
We will conclude the event with refreshments and closing remarks.

See you there!





Artwork courtesy of Chuck Siler 

Musician, arranger, and educator, Harold Battiste, passed away on Friday, June 19th after a long battle with illness. He was 83.

Mr. Battiste's influence and impact was widely felt over the course of more than six decades in music, from his years as musical director for Sonny and Cher to his landmark founding of the A.F.O. Records collective, the first record label in New Orleans to be owned by African-Americans. He was instrumental in the careers of Dr. John, Sam Cooke and a host of others.

Battiste was also a lifelong teacher. Early on, after earning a degree in music education from Dillard University, he worked as a public school music instructor. Later, he served as director of jazz studies for the University of California at Los Angeles' Coburn School of Music, and returned to New Orleans in the late 1980s to join his old friend and bandmate Ellis Marsalis on the faculty of UNO's newly formed Jazz Studies program.

In his later years, Mr. Battiste's developed the Next Generation Band out of the University of New Orleans' music program’s students, becoming a musical incubator for future jazz stars.

The Harold Battiste Next Generation Band is still together and doing a regular Wednesday gig at Julius Kimbrough's Prime Example Jazz Club (1909 N. Broad St.) this week (June 24) will be dedicated to Mr. Battiste's legacy.

The stage is open to musicians who wish to pay tribute to Mr. Bat. Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is free, but donations to Battiste's A.F.O. Foundation will be accepted. The funeral service for Mr. Battiste will be held this Thursday, June 25th, 10:00 a.m., Christian Unity Baptist Church, 1700 Conti St., New Orleans, 70112.



Thanks to all for making our Spring Sandbar series a big success!



Support NOJC through
GiveNOLA Day happening
May 5th!




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.