Jazz at the Sandbar

  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.


March 8: Trumpeter Wendell Brunious


Born into a Louisiana Creole Family, Wendell Brunious began playing trumpet at age 11 following in a lineage of family jazz musicians. Wendell´s father, John Brunious, played trumpet and piano, and arranged for Billy Eckstein and Cab Calloway. Wendell´s uncle, Willie Santiago, was one of the first guitar players recorded, and at one time worked with the legendary Buddy Bolden.

 Trumpeter Wendell Brunious studied at Julliard before playing with Paul Barbarin and Danny Baker. In the 1960’s, Brunious sang in Chief John and the Mahogany Hall Stompers, a group in which his father was also a member. In 1976, Brunious substituted for his father in Albert "Papa" French's band for Mardi Gras, and by 1979 was playing regularly at Preservation Hall with Kid Thomas Valentine.  He has remained a regular performer at Preservation Hall into the 2000s and performs with the likes of Dr. Michael White, Chris Barber, Don Vappie and the Pfister Sisters.


March 15: Pianist Amina Figarova

Amina Figarova is without doubt one of the most productive jazz composers and talented jazz piano players from Europe. Amina began playing piano as a child in Baku, Azerbaijan and has since travelled the world, studying as a classical concert pianist at the Baku Conservatory and jazz performance at the Rotterdam Conservatory. She has toured extensively, developing a tight-knit ensemble that has attained a distinctive and inimitable voice by concentrating on all-original repertoire for almost 18 years. The Amina Figarova Sextet has triumphed at the main stage of the Newport Jazz Festival, been invited repeatedly to New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, won critical and audience acclaim in Chicago, Detroit, Paris, Amsterdam — and of course New York, where she resides.  She has worked with the likes of James Moody, Larry Coryell, Winard Harper, Nathan Davis and New Orleans musicians vocalist Kim Prevost and guitarist Bill Solley. Amina's pieces strike a perfect tone, employing genuinely beautiful harmonizations, to capture fleeting thoughts that accompany those precious moments when the puzzling jostle of daily existence comes into unexpected but deeply satisfying sync. Her’s crisp, light finger-dancing across the piano keys effortlessly displays her dynamic range and technical skills all within one moment. Figarova’s style breathes new life into the knotty, post-bebop jazz developed in the 1960s.

March 22: Drummer Johnny Vidacovich


Born and bred in New Orleans, Johnny Vidacovich has the city's unique, syncopated backbeat running in his veins. From French Quarter clubs to the big stages, he has shared his talents with greats like New Orleans' "Tan Canary" Johnny Adams, Professor Longhair, and Mose Allison, and as a member of Astral Project. The seminal New Orleans contemporary jazz group, Astral Project has been taking its audiences to higher planes of reality for several decades. Astral Project started out in the '70s, jamming at the venerable Absinthe House on Bourbon Street, with Bobby McFerrin often sitting in. Gigs at Snug Harbor and the New Orleans Jazz Fest won them a devoted local following, which has expanded to international acclaim. Vidacovich continued to gig and record with other musicians until he became the most sought after drummer in the city of New Orleans. It is in improvisation that his abilities show to greatest advantage. Always sensitive to the shifting sands of jazz, the drum maestro may mix it up with reggae, bebop, street beat, and blues rhythms in the course of one tune, as he follows the lead of one of his collaborators. He is the quintessential New Orleans jazz drummer, with all the exuberance and skill befitting one who grew up in the birthplace of jazz.

March 29: Guitarist Mahmoud Chouki 

Mahmoud Chouki, otherwise known as Mood, is a master guitarist and composer. His performances and compositions consist of fusing oriental, flamenco, jazz and other electric styles of music from around the world. Mood began his studies at the Conservatory of Larache in northern Morocco from the age of eight and eventually completed at the national conservatory in Rabat. He continued with additional enrichment by taking master classes with musicians, such as Jorje Cardoso, Antonello Lexi, Tim Williams, Francisco Ortiz and Juan Fallo.

Mood began performing at the age of fourteen throughout Morocco and represented Morocco in the United Arab Emirates at the Young Arab Talent Festival. In 2002, Mood toured the south of Spain with the Guitar Ensemble of Morocco, winning first prize in the International Guitar Competition in St. Esteban del Puerto. This gave Mood the jump-start to make several collaborations with other musicians. His projects led him to travel and perform with key figures in the music world and with fusion groups, including at the Rencontre Orient Occident at Chateau Mercier in Switzerland and the Magic Lutes Concert with Hugh de Corson and his Symphonic Orchestra in Qatar and Bahrain. Mood has also worked in film, including “Lola” by Nebil Ayouch and been a featured artists on TEDtalks.

April 5: Pianist Cyrus Chestnut 

An adept jazz pianist, Cyrus Chestnut balances his lithe technical skill with a robust, soulful style that speaks to his deep gospel roots and love of swinging hard bop. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Chestnut first studied piano with his father at the age of five. By the age of nine he was enrolled in the prep program at the Peabody Institute. He graduated from Berklee with a degree in jazz composition and arranging. Chestnut took his time, working with a number of top-notch musicians including Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Terence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison, before finally recording his first solo CD at the age of 30. Time magazine says, “What makes Chestnut the best pianist of his generation is a willingness to abandon notes and play space.” Inspired by gospel music throughout his life, Cyrus draws on a range of musical influences while never straying too far from the blues and has been dubbed the rightful heir to Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Erroll Garner.

April 19: Harmonicist Howard Levy 

Multiple Grammy- Award Winner Howard Levy is an acknowledged master of the diatonic harmonica, a superb pianist, innovative composer, recording artist, bandleader, teacher and  producer. Levy has been a sought after sideman and recording artist working with the likes of Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen, and Paul Simon.  He is perhaps best known for the four CD’s he recorded with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, a unique band that set the musical world on its ear back in the early 1990’s.  

Howard Levy is also the music director and chief composer for the Latin/Jazz group Chévere de Chicago. He produced and released the band’s CD Secret Dream, and Time Capsules with his acoustic swing group Acoustic Express.  His solo Jazz CD, Alone and Together, and his Jazz trio CD Tonight and Tomorrow , both received 4-star reviews in DownBeat

In 2011 Howard also released a classical CD featuring his “Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra,” the first concerto ever composed for the diatonic harmonica.




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!

Photo Credits: Missy Bowen, Don Keller & AL Kennedy


25 Years of  Musical Excellence:
Jazz at the Sandbar Article in Driftwood



October 5th- Pianist Ellis Marsalis


It has become tradition that jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar. Marsalis is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. In the beginning, Marsalis was one of the few New Orleans musicians of the era who did not specialize in Dixieland or rhythm & blues. He played with fellow modernists (including Ed Blackwell) in the late '50s with AFO, recorded with Cannonball and Nat Adderley in the 1960s and played with Al Hirt (1967-1970) as well as working as a teacher. Today, with his sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, the Marsalis clan is often referred to as “The First Family of Jazz.” Ellis Marsalis' main importance to jazz may very well be as a jazz educator; his former pupils (in addition to his sons) include Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, and Kent and Marlon Jordan, among others. The acclaimed pianist and patriarch of the New Orleans jazz community will be a special guest at the opening celebration of the performance series Downbeat Magazine calls “One of the best things going in America.” Mr. Marsalis will be joining Jazz Studies students on stage. 

October 12th- Saxophonist Khari Allen Lee 

As one of New Orleans’ most-in-demand saxophonists, educators and composers, Khari Allen Lee believes art must show the world as changeable and then help to change it. Over the last few years, Khari has been expressing his art with such luminaries as Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin,  Branford Marsalis, Allen Toussaint,  Stevie Wonder, Leah Chase, Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell and Adonis Rose to name a few. After earning his Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans, Lee severed as an educator with Tulane University, the International School Moshi at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Music Department of NOCCA. He has been featured on recordings with the legendary Dr. John, the Treme Brass Band, and a recently released an album with DeeDee Bridgewater & The New Orleans Jazz. Khari Allen Lee also leads the New Creative Collective, which features well-known New Orleans jazz veterans plus Brother Marcus Akinlana doing live art, as well as poetry and spoken word. Khari Allen Lee & the New Creative Collective will release their third album, A New Earth, in September 2016.

October 19th- Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen


Ingrid Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, she recorded three highly acclaimed CDs for the ENJA record label, soon becoming one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the global jazz scene. After a teaching stint in Europe in her early twenties (as the youngest professor in the history of the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria), Ingrid settled in New York City in the mid-1990s where she joined the innovative jazz orchestras of Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue. 

More recently, Ingrid has been performing with the Grammy- winning Terri-Lyne Carrington and her Mosaic Project. Ingrid is a featured soloist on the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra’s JUNO award winning album, Treelines, and its successor, Habitat.She has performed with a multi-generational cast of jazz legends ranging from Clark Terry to Esperanza Spalding. Ingrid has also performed alongside British R&B artist Corrine Bailey Rae on Saturday Night Live and recorded with Canadian pop icon Sarah McLachlan. In addition to her busy sideman and featured soloist schedule, Ingrid leads her own quintet, quartet and organ trio. 


October 26th-  Pianist Jovino Santos Neto


Three-time Latin Grammy-nominee Jovino Santos Neto is a Brazilian-American jazz pianist, flutist, educator and record producer.  Jovino Santos Neto started playing piano at age 13 and by 16, was playing keyboards in a band called The Vacancy Group in Bangu, West Zone of Rio. Santos Neto has toured the world, performing with mentor Hermeto Pascoal, Bill Frisell, and Paquito D'Rivera among other extraordinary artists. Since leaving Hermeto's group in 1992 and relocating to the United States, Santos Neto has released several recordings and toured internationally as the leader of his own ensemble, and also in collaboration with musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, and Mike Marshall. Jovino Santos Neto's current work features a range of Brazilian styles from contemporary and choro to baiao, samba and others.  Santos Neto continues his exposition of the Brazilian genre, affirming his status as one of the top Brazilian artists in the business.


November 2th- Saxophonist Tony Dagradi


Saxophonist, Tony Dagradi, is an internationally recognized jazz performer, composer, author and educator. In 1970, with a scholarship from Downbeat magazine, Dagradi enrolled at Berklee College of Music where he studied with Andy McGhee, Phil Wilson, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano and Gary Burton. His travels eventually brought him to New Orleans where he found a vital and diverse musical culture, recording with the late great Professor Longhair. For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano sax with many of the Crescent City's most celebrated artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, James Booker, The Meters, Dr. John, James Black, Johnny Adams and Gatemouth Brown. An accomplished classical performer as well, he's often called upon to augment the woodwind section of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley band and appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderly.

Dagradi is most well known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quintet made up of top New Orleans players dedicated to playing cutting-edge improvisational music. Founded by Dagradi, in 1978, Astral Project has established itself as the most exciting and consistently innovative contemporary jazz ensemble in the area. The group includes John Vidacovich on drums, James Singleton on bass and Steve Masakowski on guitar. Over the years the band has performed throughout the world, garnering universal praise as one of the most innovative, compelling jazz bands anywhere.




November 9th- Guitarist Hank Mackie


Guitarist Hank Mackie has displayed equal parts instruction, artistry and patience for hundreds of aspiring musicians for more than four decades. Mackie earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Guitar Performance from Loyola University of New Orleans and a Masters in Music in Theory and Composition from Southeastern Louisiana University. He has taught and performed a variety of styles of guitar in the greater New Orleans area and is the author of the classic Mel Bay instruction book, Fingerstyle Guitar. Mackie’s true love is a style of solo jazz guitar influenced by jazz-guitar greats such as Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery and George Van Epps, the inventor-master of the 7-string guitar. 

While Mackie’s body of recorded and live performance work is considerable, it will likely be his role in bridging the time continuum of jazz guitar to a new generation of guitar wizards, however, that will ultimately serve as his crowning achievement.  His protégés and peers include jazz favorites Davy Mooney, Steve Masakowski, Phil Derby, Bill Solley and Ted Ludwig. Hank has recorded and performed with a litany of traditional and modern jazz stars, including Jerry Embree, the Dukes of Dixieland, Tim Laughlin and Ronnie Cole.

 November 16th- Pianist Aaron Goldberg


Aaron Goldberg is post-bop pianist of exemplary taste and range. Hailed by Down Beat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the- chase sense of narrative logic,” Goldberg ?has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling musicians, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. 

Goldberg became a jazz devotee in Boston during high school. After spending a year in New York City at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he enrolled at Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a concentration in Mind, Brain and Behavior. A founding member of Betty Carter’s famed and indispensable Jazz Ahead program, he continued his ascent performing in bands led by Al Foster, Freddie Hubbard, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris and Mark Turner among others. By the late 1990s, he was garnering wider attention, working with the likes of Madeleine Peyroux, Wynton Marsalis Quartet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Terry Gibbs/Buddy DeFranco group, John Ellis, Mark Elf, Jimmy Greene and the OAM Trio. Goldberg recorded his first CD as a leader for J  Curve in 1999 and has also recorded for Sunnyside. His current trio also includes bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.

 “Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media,  WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration. All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web, go to www.nojc.org/sandbar.




Sandbar Spring 2016 Series kicks off with acclaimed jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator Peter Martin. Martin grew up in St. Louis, but lived in New Orleans many years prior to Hurricane Katrina.While in New Orleans Martin honed his skills working with key musicians such as Nicholas Payton, Germaine Bazzle, Chris Thomas, Alvin Batiste, Brian Blade and Victor Goines.

Peter performed on and arranged Dianne Reeves’ Grammy® winning release A Little Moonlight. He also appeared in George Clooney’s 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck as well as being the featured pianist and an arranger on the Grammy® winning soundtrack. Peter has performed, toured and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Betty Carter, Christian McBride and Joshua Redman as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.  In 2014 Peter was selected to tour with “Newport Now 60”, an all-star ensemble that toured nationwide in celebration of the iconic festival’s 60th anniversary.

March 9: Trombonist Mark Mullins

Mark Mullins has made a reputation for himself in New Orleans  as a multi-faceted musician who like a chameleon, fits perfectly in many situations without compromising his integrity. Mark began studying trombone at age eight, and at 13 had his own Dixieland band performing in Mardi Gras parades.  In 1990, Mark was offered a post graduate scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music, but decided instead to accept Harry Connick Jr’s offer to join his new Big Band. With Connick, Mark toured the world and appeared in front of countless national TV audiences including  the Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Conan O’Brien show .  After years of recording and touring with Connick, Mark returned to New Orleans to find many projects awaiting him. Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow and George Porter Jr. all recorded their horns sections with Mark’s signature sound and solid arrangements while Mark also appears on recordings of Better Than Ezra, Rancid, Dag and Joe Henry. Around New Orleans, it was his work with local funk bands George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners and Galatic which helped Mark gain notoriety as a powerful soloist and figure in the local New Orleans music scene. Mullins formed Bonerama, a New Orleans-based brass/funk/rock band in 1998 along with Craig Klein who was also a member of Harry Connick Jr.'s big band. Bonerama is a powerhouse trombone band and has earned the reputation as the ultimate brass band in the Crescent City.

March 16: Drummer Carl Allen

With over 200 recordings to his credit, Carl Allen is a gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, bandleader, entrepreneur and educator. Allen's early hometown gigs were with sax greats Sonny Stitt and James Moody. Allen then joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and served as his Musical Director for eight years. Allen went on to play with  Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to name a few. Allen still maintains an exhaustive schedule of recording, touring and teaching. He remains active as a sideman with Christian McBride and Inside Straight, Benny Golson and others. As a leader most recently leading The Art of Elvin, a tribute band dedicated to his two drum influences, Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, created after the passing of Elvin in 2004.

March 23: Spring Break



March 30: Pianist Deanna Witkowski

Using her impressive piano talents to combine jazz, Latin folk, and modern classical composition, Deanna Witkowski has shown herself to be a wonderfully diverse and interesting musician. Playing as a classical flutist/pianist before discovering jazz, she met other musicians while in college that moved her towards the jazz genre. She formed her first quintet in 1994 and performed with them until a four month trip to Africa found her thousands of miles away teaching piano in Kenya. Returning to Chicago in 1996, she recorded a demo with her grant money and studied with several Cuban jazz musicians during that period. The next year, she moved to New York and became the music director at All Angels' Episcopal Church where she crafted jazz/gospel masses. Releasing the "Having to Ask" album in 2000, she began studying with Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira that year and left the church to follow her own musical path. Still writing and performing sacred music in her spare time, she composed a piece for a jazz choir and reactivated her quintet. Her trio performs her compositions tonight, having just finished a residency at the University of Southern Mississippi.



April 6:  Guitarist Todd Duke

Jazz guitarist Todd Duke’s interest in music was sparked by his parent’s diverse record collection that ranged from Bobby “Blue” Bland and Fats Domino to Miles Davis.  He was exposed to more of it when he and his father, who lived in the French Quarter, would hang out at clubs and check out the jukeboxes that were filled with this city’s music.  There he discovered jazz guitarists like George Benson and Kenny Burrell. “Jazz guitar really bit me,” he remembers.  Duke attended the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts for two years. He describes studying with guitar master Hank Mackie as offering him “a lifetime of knowledge.” Duke graduated from NOCCA in 1989, but didn’t feel he was good enough to pursue the music and so got a day job. He returned to the scene in ’91 playing rhythm and blues with vocalist Yufus Hawkins at Basin Street’s Colt 38. He dug it because many “old cats” would sit in including the great Ernie K-Doe. It also offered him the opportunity to learn and play a lot of standards. Duke said “goodbye to day jobs forever” once he began a seven-night-a-week gig with saxophonist Jerry Jumonville. The guitarist gained greater recognition on the scene playing Monday nights at Donna’s with drummer Bob French. He also met many musicians there like trumpeter Leroy Jones and drummers Shannon Powell and Bunchy Johnson (All-Star 2000) with whom he would eventually play. Duke credits Johnson for introducing him to Wardell Quezergue that led to a spot in the leader and arranger’s big band. The guitarist moves easily and regularly between playing modern and traditional jazz. Presently, he’s probably most recognized for his always savory accompaniment with John Boutte at the vocalist’s regular Saturday night date at d.b.a.

April 13:  Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins

New Orleans-based trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and songwriter Kermit Ruffins is an ever-inventive musician who projects a warmth from the stage. He's got charisma, so as a consequence, he and his bandmates in the Barbecue Swingers are not in danger of overexposing themselves in their native Crescent City. Ruffins, born in 1964 in New Orleans, reminds many people of a sort of modern-day Louis Armstrong, though he's far from becoming the international ambassador of goodwill that Armstrong eventually became. He began playing trumpet as a young teenager, but didn't discover the possibilities of jazz and blues until he first heard Louis Armstrong when he was 19. With several of his fellow students from high school, Ruffins started the Rebirth Brass Band. That band led to Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers. Until he puts his trumpet to his mouth, he said, he has no idea what he'll play on any given night. But through years of performing in New Orleans and other places, he's learned to be a careful reader of his audience. He'll work with his band to deliver the kind of music he figures a given audience is in the mood for!

April 20: Pianist Henry Butler

Playing piano since the age of six, Butler is a master of musical diversity. Combining the percussive jazz piano playing of McCoy Tyner and the New Orleans style playing of Professor Longhair through his classically trained wizardry, Butler continues to craft a sound uniquely his own. Butler studied under the greats such as Alvin Batiste, Sir Roland Hanna and James Booker and is now considered a the premier exponent of the great New Orleans jazz and blues piano tradition.  Referred to by Dr. John as "the pride of New Orleans," Butler is his generation's representative in the Crescent City's lineage of piano players such as James Booker, Tuts Washington, and Jelly Roll Morton. A rich amalgam of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues and R&B influences, his music is as excitingly eclectic as that of his New Orleans birthplace.





April 27: Trumpeter Maurice Brown

One of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene is Grammy winning trumpeter Maurice Brown. Showing a remarkable affinity for the trumpet, Brown performed with Ramsey Lewis at the Symphony Center in Chicago while still a student at Hillcrest High School. Following graduation, he received a full scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University, and later continued his studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where he worked with famed clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Brown relocated to New Orleans shortly thereafter, sitting in with numerous jazz veterans, including Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Ellis Marsalis, and Lonnie Plaxico, as well as recording as a sideman with Curtis Fuller, Fred Anderson, Roy Hargrove, Michelle Carr, and Ernest Dawkins, among others. In 2001 he won first place in the National Miles Davis Trumpet Competition and in 2003 he released his first album as a bandleader, heading his Maurice Brown Quintet for Hip to Bop, which showed an amazing affinity for bop-inflected jazz, along with a willingness to expand the genre's lexicon through innovative techniques like playing trumpet solos through a wah-wah pedal. In 2012 Maurice won a Grammy Award for best blues album as a member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  Eight years after his highly celebrated debut album "HIP TO BOP" hit the jazz world with a staggering, original sound, Brown continues to explore and expand all musical boundaries. His intuitive musical vision lights a fire under traditional jazz, adds sonic horn playing to rock n' roll and pushes the production edge in hip-hop & r&b to new creative heights.




  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.

October 7th- Pianist Ellis Marsalis


It is becoming a tradition that jazz education icon and UNO Jazz Studies Professor Emeritus Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar and this year is no exception. Marsalis is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered to be today’s international jazz leaders. 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 students in the Thelonious Monk Ensemble under the direction of Steve Masakowski.

October 14th- Trumpeter Gabriel Alegria & Dancer“Huevito” Lobatón

Trumpeter Gabriel Alegria has toured the world with his Afro-Peruvian Sextet, and follows the traditions of both contemporary jazz and the Afro-Latin sounds of his native Peru.  One of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Perú, Gabriel Alegria was born into an artistic family in Lima in 1970.  Alegria’s grandfather Ciro was Peru’s most famous novelist and his father Alonso is Perú’s most acclaimed playwright.  Gabriel Alegria combines his experience playing jazz as it developed in the U.S. with a passionate interest and careful study of the black music of coastal Perú.  By incorporating and exploring the common African roots found in both styles, he has developed a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz music concept.  Alegria earned a doctorate in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California, and is currently on the faculty at New York University.  Gabriel will be bringing his percussionist and dancer Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón, who is one of the most important masters and exponents of Afro-Peruvian percussion and a three-time national Peruvian zapateo dancing champion.

October 21st- Trumpeter Nicholas Payton

 Grammy winning New Orleans native, and former UNO Jazz Studies student Nicholas Payton returns to the Lakefront, bringing his upfront sounds and adventurous attitudes to perform with current students.  Son of famed bassist Walter Payton, Nick was raised amidst the traditions of Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong, but he got his “ah-ha” moment at age 11 when he first heard Miles Davis.  His career has included performing and recording with Elvin Jones, Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis, Esperanza Spaulding, Cassandra Wilson, Roy Hargrove, and won a Grammy award for his recording with Doc Cheatham. He has recorded on Verve, Warner Bros. and other labels. He released his newest recording, “Letters” in August. 


October 28th-  Jesse McBride & the Next Generation: 

A Birthday Tribute to Harold Battiste

UNO alumnus, pianist, and jazz educator Jesse McBride brings his band, Next Generation to the Jazz at the Sandbar for the first time in a tribute to the late UNO Professor Emeritus Harold Battiste.  The legendary “Mr. Batt,” a New Orleans musical pioneer who produced Sam Cooke and Sonny and Cher, among others, also served as mentor to McBride and The Next Generation.  Jesse McBride began playing the violin at age four, but was encouraged to play piano when he attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts. Jesse earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNO, and has performed with an all-star list of jazz luminaries, including Donald Harrison, Carmen Lundy, Stefon Harris and Wess Anderson. October 28 would have been Mr. Batt’s 84th  birthday; Jazz at the Sandbar will celebrate with Jesse McBride performing one set with current UNO students, and a second set featuring McBride and fellow UNO alum Rex Gregory with The Next Generation.

November 4th- Guitarist/Banjoist Carl LeBlanc

From Fats Domino to the Sun Ra Arkestra, New Orleans native Carl LeBlanc offers a breadth and depth of musical experience honed from a 40-year career performing across genres and around the world.  Starting out in the Seventh Ward, LeBlanc was influenced by both brass bands and the Beatles, and cut his chops with New Orleans R & B and jazz bands, including a stint on banjo with Preservation Hall. He attended Columbia University and Southern University in New Orleans, and earned a degree in Music Education. He toured with Sun Ra for several years and played with numerous bands including his own, and eventually worked his way home to a permanent spot playing banjo and directing the children’s ensemble at Preservation Hall.  He also writes about jazz and conducts educational programs.






November 11th-  Saxophonist Jason Marshall

Jason Marshall is currently playing and touring with Roy Hargrove, and his own band, Overt Negritude, has just released its debut recording.  Jason's formative musical experiences included stints with the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra and bluesman Roy Gaines, among others, and his style celebrates the amalgamation of soul, R&B, and funk with straight-ahead jazz.  Jason has also conducted numerous demonstrations, clinics and workshops at every level of education throughout the world. Influences such as Leo Parker, Nick Brignola and Bruce Johnstone have coalesced to ensure an open perception of the baritone sax and a "take -no-prisoners" approach to playing jazz music.




November 18th- Quintology Reunion

 This legendary original UNO-centric band returns to the stage in a rare reunion. The five musicians – trumpeter Mark Rapp, saxophonist and current faculty member Brent Rose, bassist Brady Kish, keyboard ace (and recent Cirque du Soleil alumnus) Charlie Denard and drummer Mark Deflorio formed their band while students in the Jazz Studies program; all have gone on to successful independent careers. Brent’s professional career has included stints with Galactic, the New World Funk Ensemble, and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. Brent has appeared on recordings with Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, Chévere, and the Naked Orchestra. Charlie Dennard is a protege of Ellis Marsalis and  has performed with a virtual Who’s Who in New Orleans, including New World Funk Ensemble, Michael Ray (from the Sun Ra Arkestra and Kool and the Gang), Stanton Moore, and Theresa Andersson to name a few. Mark DiFlorio has studied drums with world famous drum innovator Johnny Vidacovich, and master Brazilian stylist Ricky Sebastian. Besides working with Quintology, Mark performs with Chevere, Naked On The Floor, The Brian Prunka Quartet, and the Naked Orchestra. This all-star group will play one set, and another set featuring current UNO students. 


Christian Scott Finishes Off a Wonderful Spring Session for Jazz @ the Sandbar!

 Fall Series will Begin on October 7th 

For the final Jazz @ the Sandbar concert of the Spring 2015 season, UNO welcomed trumpeter ChristianScott. Scott, who performed with the UNO Jazz Allstars under the direction of Dwight Fitch. The UNO Jazz Allstars also performed on the Lagniappe Stage of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Friday, May 1 at 11:30am. The group included Dwight Fitch, Jr. on piano, Miles Berry on saxophone, Jon Bauer on trumpet, Russell Ramirez on trombone, Robin Sherman on bass, and Peter Varnado on drums.


Spring 2015 Series Begins on March 4!

Upcoming Guest Artists

March 4: Drummer Shannon Powell

Shannon Powell dazzles audiences with his natural showmanship and fever for the jazz flame. The New Orleans native grew up in the jazz threshold neighborhood of Treme, which percolates with the sounds of Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, second line parades, Jazz funerals and church revivals. By the age of fourteen Powell was already a professional musician, playing gigs such as Jazz Fest as a member of the legendary Danny Barker’s Jazzhounds. Powell’s influences sprung from listening to his childhood neighbour, drummer James Black as well as pianist Ellis Marsalis and the players at Preservation Hall. "Everything I learned was being around the great musicians of New Orleans. Danny Barker was first and then I fell into the hands of David Lastie who is Herlin Riley's uncle. They kind of raised me as a young musician and I started calling them my family" states Powell. If drumming is the essential beat of New Orleans, then Shannon Powell is a leader of the pack at the fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B.

March 11: Saxophonist AuroraNealand
















An established bandleader, composer, performer and improviser, Aurora Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2005. Combining the “formal education” – a music composition degree from Oberlin Conservatory and training at the Jacques Lecoq School of  Physical Theatre in Paris –  with the “informal”  experience of playing music in the streets and clubs of New Orleans and throughout the northern Hemisphere, Nealand has emerged as an innovative, sensitive and daring musiccreator and performer.

She is most recognized for her performance on saxophones, clarinet and vocals and has been at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans Traditional Jazz amongst the younger generation of the city’s musicians. After playing and learning as a sideman in established New Orleans Bands for several years, (Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, The New Orleans Moonshiners), in 2010 she formed her own Traditional Jazz band “The Royal Roses”. The Royal Roses released it’s first album, “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” to national acclaim and Nealand was voted as one of Downbeat Magazines top ten rising stars for soprano saxophone in 2010.

March 18: Bassist Roland Guerin

First call bassist in NO, Guerin studied at Southern University in Baton Rouge, where he joined legendary jazz educator Alvin Batiste’s Jazztronauts.  He later began to tour the world as a member of jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield's band.  During that time Guerin explored the jazz genre; which ultimately proved to be an avenue toward success.  He had the opportunity to perform with such greats as George Benson, Jimmy Scott, Frank Morgan, Vernel Fournier, and Gerry Mulligan. 

When he is not performing with his own band, Roland Guerin tours and performs with Allen Toussaint and also enjoys occasional performances with the Brian Blade Fellowship Band.  In the late summer of 2009, Guerin had the pleasure to tour with John Scofield and the Piety Street band, with fellow New Orleanians Shannon Powell and Jon Cleary.  Roland is also very active on the New Orleans music scene, where he performs in all genres with such artists  as Herlin Riley, Dr. Michael White, Germaine Bazzle, Shannon Powell, Leah Chase, and Ellis Marsalis.

March 25: Pianist Dick Hyman

A very versatile virtuoso, Dick Hyman once recorded an album on which he played "A Child Is Born" in the styles of 11 different pianists, from Scott Joplin to Cecil Taylor. Hyman can clearly play anything he wants to, and since the '70s, he has mostly concentrated on pre-bop swing and stride styles. Hyman worked with Red Norvo and Benny Goodman and then spent much of the 1950s and '60s as a studio musician. He appears on the one known sound film of Charlie Parker (Hot House from 1952); recorded honky tonk under pseudonyms; played organ and early synthesizers in addition  to piano; was Arthur Godfrey's music director collaborated with Leonard Feather on some History of Jazz concerts and even performed rock and free jazz; but all of this was a prelude to his later work. In the 1970s, Hyman played with the New York Jazz Repertory Company, formed the Perfect Jazz Repertory Quintet, and started writing soundtracks for Woody Allen films. He has recorded frequently during the past several decades and ranks at the top of the classic jazz field. In 2013, Hyman teamed up with vocalist Heather Masse for a set of standards on the Red House label called Lock My Heart.


April 1: Spring Break

April 8: Drummer Paul Wiltgen

Since his arrival in New York City in the fall of 2001, Luxembourg native Paul Wiltgen, has made a name for himself among the local and international music industry as an accomplished jazz percussionist and forward-thinking composer. Wiltgen completed both undergraduate and graduate jazz studies at Manhattan School of Music, learning from the likes of John Riley, David Liebman, Samir Chatterjee & Michael Abene. He has appeared alongside such emerging stars as Patrick Cornelius, Michael Janisch, David Binney, Miles Okazaki, Linda Oh, Ambrose Akinmusire, Will Vinson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Lage Lund, Mike Moreno, Franz von Chossy, Tim Collins, Brian Seeger, Cedric Hanriot, Kristjan Randalu and Pablo Held.

Besides mainly working as a sideman and occasionally leading his own groups, Paul is currently also co-leading the Reis / Demuth / Wiltgen Trio. From 2004 until 2007, he was the leader of a New York band named “The Paislies.” Paul was also one of the original members of The TransAtlantic Collective, a vivacious contemporary jazz ensemble made up of musicians based in London and New York City.



April 15: Guitarist Warren Batiste

Guitarist Warren Batiste, is another one of those unsung heroes in the annals of jazz who deserve more recognition for their contributing efforts to the cause of American music. He was born in New Orleans in 1925 and was taught to play the guitar by his father who was a banjo player at Preservation Hall. He was the first guitarist to play with Fats Domino on a regular basis, and went on to play with Illinois Jacquet in New York. In 2000 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Warren Battiste was one of the many victims of hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has reached into the experience to come out with a new record release of Quiet Storm In New Orleans.  On this recording his regular trio mates of bassist Jim Markway, and drummer Richard Hale, are joined by pianist Larry Siebert.   "Quiet Storm" is an impressive recording by a New Orleans guitar master in his 80's still in prime form.



April 22: Saxophonist Rick Margitza

Former New Orleanian and Miles Davis alumni Rick Margitza, has long been regarded as one of the “Young Lyons” of the International Jazz Scene, is nowadays one of the most respected musicians of his generation. Excellent tenor and soprano saxophonist, mostly inspired by John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and Wayne Shorter, he has managed to expand and develop his unique voice, highly poetic and sharply incisive. He joined Miles Davis' group and recorded three albums with them: “Amandla”, “Live around the world” and "Live in Montreux". He then cut three sets as a leader for the prestigious label Blue Note during 1989-1991. Since 1994, his career found itself enriched with five more solo albums and collaborations with such artists as Maria Schneider, Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner.






April 29: Trumpeter Christian Scott 

Born in 1983, Christian Scott learned much about jazz first hand from his uncle, saxophonist Donald Harrison, whom he recorded with at 16 years old.

“My uncle took me back to the very beginning of the music. He taught me stuff that Buddy Bolden was playing in the early 1900s.” By the time Christian graduated at the top of the class at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, he was in his uncle band and recorded with him at 16 years old. In 2006 Scott released Rewind That on Concord Jazz, an album that won a Grammy nomination. Anthem, released the following year, was a statement about the political and social dynamics associated with Hurricane Katrina. Living back in town now, Christian will get together with his New Orleans band for a unique jazz experience.

“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media,  WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration. All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web, go to www.nojc.org/sandbar.






The final Sandbar of fall 2014 included trombonist Lucien Barbarin and guitarist Steve Masakowski performing with the UNO Classic Jazz Combo on November 19th, 2014. 





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. Marsalis is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. Together with his sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, the Marsalis clan is often referred to as “The First Family of Jazz.”The acclaimed pianist and patriarch of the New Orleans jazz community will be a special guest at the opening celebration of the performance series Downbeat Magazine calls “One of the best things going in America.” 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. 

October 8 Singer Cindy Scott 

Cindy Scott is an accomplished vocalist, bandleader, composer and arranger. She graduated from UNO with a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies in 2007. She was also the director of the UNO Jazz Voices from 2005 to 2011. Scott has walked a different path than most jazz singers, though. She also has a Masters in International Business, speaks German and Spanish, and spent several years living and working in Europe and Central America. “She has the serious jazz chops that enable her to improvise on a dime on whatever chord changes are thrown her way… the highest praise of all, she really doesn't sound like anyone else.” - Tom McDermott, Offbeat Magazine.

October 15 Saxophonist Jason Mingledorff

Jason Mingledorff has become one of the most versatile and in-demand saxophonists in New Orleans since moving here in 1995. Jason attended UNO from 1995 to 1997 and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance. He has played 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 also toured with country star Clint Black and performed and recorded with two of the city’s biggest exports – Dr. John and Harry Connick, Jr. In 2006, he began teaching at Loyola University and soon became the conductor of the Jazz Workshop Band, as well as the assistant professor of saxophone studies. 

October 22 Tabla Master Badal Roy  

Badal Roy is one of the world's leading tabla players. Although his musical roots reflect the influence of Indian classical music, Roy has taken the Indian hand drum from its traditional role and placed it in the realm of jazz and improvisational music. In addition to recording with John McLaughlin and the late Miles Davis, Roy has performed with such stellar jazz and world music players as Herbie Mann, Dave Leibman, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Dizzy Gillespie, Lonnie Liston Smith, Andreas Vollenweider, and Yoko Ono. Since the mid-'90s, Roy has collaborated with Brazilian guitar duo Duofel.

October 29 Pianist Jorge Pacheco  with the World Beat Combo

One of the most renowned young musicians from the new generation of jazz in Cuba is pianist, percussionist, composer and musical director, Jorge Pacheco. Pacheco has shared the stage with great musicians like Bobby Carcasess, Javier Zalba and Orlando Sanchez. He has participated in concerts and festivals in Cuba, Germany, Spain, Italy, Barbados, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland was invited by the world-famous Wynton Marsalis and Chucho Valdés to guest star with the Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York during their presentations at the Mella Theater of Havana. Bobby Carcases has called Pacheco "Flying hands" ... "beyond full technical mastery, Pacheco tohas natural talent as well as a sense of total dedication to musical interpretation, despite his youth."

November 5 Guitarist Peter Bernstein

Jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. Peter has enjoyed long musical associations with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb (Cobb’s Mob), as well as organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart as a member of their highly acclaimed trio. The New York Times called them “the best organ trio of the last decade”. Bernstein  played with Diana Krall’s quartet from 1999 through 2001 and with Dr. Lonnie Smith, the legendary organist who made his debut on the George Benson Cookbook albums. He has also recorded five CDs with organist Melvin Rhyne, known for his association with Wes Montgomery. In addition, Peter has appeared in groups led by Nicholas Payton, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, and Eric Alexander.

November 12 Drummer Adonis Rose

Adonis Rose, hailed by New Orleans Magazine as a “Contemporary Jazz All Star,” is one of the most sought after drummers in jazz today. Rose is the founder of the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, in addition to serving as an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas at Arlington. The Grammy Award-winning drummer has played with some of the world’s most esteemed jazz artists, from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves and Harry Connick Jr. to the top pop artists including rap group Public Enemy, soul diva Chaka Kahn and the late R&B chart-topper Gerald Levert.


November 19 Trombonist Lucien Barbarin

Lucien Barbarin is the great-nephew of revered musician Paul Barbarin, who composed the tune "Bourbon Street Parade." Lucien has a command of the trombone and love for performing which establishes him as one of the city's premier musical ambassadors. Lucien has played with Dr. Michael White, Wynton Marsalis, Doc Cheatham, Lionel Hampton, Dianne Reeves, and tours internationally with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and with Harry Connick, Jr.



 “Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media,  WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration. All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web, go to www.nojc.org/sandbar.




Spring 2014 Series Begins with Saxophonist

Dave Liebman on March 12th

With a career that spans nearly four decades, master reedman Dave Liebman will kick off the spring series with the power of a jazz legend.  Liebman first gain recognition in the 1970s as the saxophone/flautist in the groups of two giants of jazz Elvin Jones and Miles Davis.  Since then, he has played on nearly three hundred recordings with over one hundred under his leadership. Lieb has consistently placed among the top three in the Downbeat Critics Poll for Soprano Saxophone since 1973; winning first place in both the Downbeat and Jazz Times Critic's Poll in 2011. Also in 2011, Liebman received the NEA Masters of Jazz Award, the highest honor for jazz given by the United States government. On March 12 he will be a guest with the UNO Thelonious Monk Ensemble in two configurations under the direction of Dave’s old friend and colleague Steve Masakowski.

March 19th Clarence Johnson III

'Spirituality,' 'fire,' and 'passion' are not simply words saxophonist Clarence Johnson uses when talking about the music, they are also emotions that are evident in his playing. Currently, Clarence is celebrating the national release of his latest recording, "Watch Him Work", his first release in nearly 15 years. The new original material, which features himself and his latest creation, Cornerstone, can best be described as a fresh take on jazz fusion, which is reminiscent of the compositional styles of Stanley Clarke, George Duke, the Brecker Bros., and the Yellow Jackets. Clarence Johnson has performed with the likes of  the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Dr. John, and members of the Neville Brothers.

March 26th  Larry Sieberth

Pianist Larry Sieberth has been an ace sideman on the local modern jazz scene for decades, rarely drawing attention to himself despite consistently tasty work. In recent years he’s been plumbing traditional jazz waters, most notably with banjoist Don Vappie. As a self described “musical chameleon,” Sieberth is one of the most notably versatility adaptable pianist the Crescent City has to offer. His musical background is very diverse, being a pianist, composer, arranger, musical director, and producer. His collaborations with other musical artists have put him in the best of company around the globe and he has been honored as outstanding jazz pianist by both New Orleans Magazine and Jazziz.

April 2nd John Wooton

Dr. John Wooton is the director of percussion studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Wooten specializes in the rudimental snare drum, drum set, marimba, vibraphone and steel pans. Dr. Wooton directs the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Orchestra, Graduate Percussion Ensemble and the Samba Band. He also performs regularly on steel pans as a soloist or with his band, KAISO!, and plays vibes for the USM Jazz Quintet. He has served as the president of the Percussion Arts Society, Mississippi Chapter, and is presently a member of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Committee.

April 9th  Detroit Brooks

 From a historic musical family, Detroit Brooks is one of the most in-demand guitarists on the New Orleans scene. A virtual chameleon of musical styles allows him to go from traditional jazz banjo with Dr. Michael White’s Liberty Jazz Band to improvisational jazz with Dr. Lonnie Smith to rhythm and funk with the Charmaine Neville Band. Often admired by banjoists and guitarists world-wide, Brooks’ laid-back demeanor masks one of the most heralded and sought-after performer, songwriter, and session men of our time. Brooks has studied intensely under the direction of Roy Montell and Gary Haulette, as well as ongoing training and studies in Improvisation and Theory with Hank Mackie to further hone his sound.



April 16th Craig Klein

Native Jazz trombonist Craig Klein has been cutting his teeth gigging around the city for years with the likes of the Dukes of Dixieland and the Storyville Stompers.  Klein has performed with some of the New Orleans greats, such as Kid Sheik Colla, Father Al Lewis, Danny Barker, Chester Zardis, Frog Joseph. In 1990 Klein joined Harry Connick Jr.’s big band and since recorded and toured extensively all over the world . Craig's diverse experience has made him a top-call trombonist in New Orleans, capable of many musical styles and configurations, from trios to large orchestras.

April 23rd Lew Soloff  

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.  

April 30th  Charles Neville

Hailing from the talented dynasty of the Neville Brothers and their world famous embodiment of New Orleans sound is Charles Neville. As the second oldest brother, Charles is perhaps the most experienced in the music scene. With five decades of performing to his name, the saxophonist diversity ranges from rhythm & blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, popular and even American Indian music. Known as "The Keeper of the Horn" by his brothers and fans, Charles won a Grammy or his haunting rendition of "Healing Chant.”

Jazz at the Sandbar Series runs every Wednesday through April 30th at The Cove, UNO.

“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media,  WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration.

All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web at www.nojc.org/sandbar.

Click here to take the Jazz at the Sandbar Survey!

“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media,  WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration.

All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web at www.nojc.org/sandbar. 

 Jazz @ the Sandbar Fall 2013 Lineup:


October 2 Pianist Ellis Marsalis  

It is becoming a tradition that UNO Professor Emeritus and jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar and this year is no exception. The acclaimed pianist and patriarch of the New Orleans modern jazz community will be a special guest at the opening celebration of the performance series Downbeat Magazine calls “One of the best things going in America.” Mr. Marsalis will be joining Jazz Studies students Amber Matthews, Jeronne Ansari, Albert Allenback, Glenn Hall, Jordan Baker, Tanarat Chaichana and Peter Varnado under the direction of Victor Atkins.


October 9 Trumpeter Ashlin Parker 

Grammy-winner Ashlin Parker began studying trumpet at age 10 and earned his high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied classical trumpet. Parker was accepted into the University of New Orleans, completing a Masters of Music in 2009. Ashlin then began touring and recording with Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), winning the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Now back in New Orleans, Parker regularly performs with the who’s who of jazz musicians including the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Ellis Marsalis and Herlin Riley. 




October 16 Saxophonist Dmitry Mospan

Dmitry Mospan is one of the brightest and most popular tenor sax players of Moscow. He has been playing in Oleg Lundstrem’s Orchestra since the age of 14 and currently he is the soloist of Igor Butman’s Orchestra. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis  and the Igor Butman Big Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York He has also played Richie Cole’s Alto Madness Orchestra and with singer Dee Dee Bridgewater to name a few.







October 23 Drummer Johnny Vidacovich

Contemporary jazz drummer extraordinaire Johnny Vidacovich is one of the most respected players in New Orleans and around the Jazz world. His long resume includes playing with New Orleans legends Professor Longhair and James Booker in the 1970s and 80s. His unique style has influenced generations of drummers including Brian Blade, currently in Wayne Shorter’s band, and Stanton Moore with the funk band Galactic. His most recent gigs include touring with Joe Sample from the Crusaders and Brian Hass from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Johnny may be best known as one of the founding members of the jazz quartet Astral Project, the band that debuted with singer Bobby McFerrin as a member in 1978 and after 35 years, is still going strong. Jazz combos with instructor Steve Masakowski featuring students John Perkins,Greg Agid,Phil Sylve,Miles Fortenberry,J.P. Smith,Trey Boudreaux, and Walter Lundy.

October 30 NOJI Masters Series Combined Performance: Atkins, Masakowski & Petersen

Three favorites of the New Orleans jazz scene and all professors from the UNO Jazz Studies Program, will be performing Jazz Tributes to the Poetry of three acclaimed poets: National Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, State Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon and The Poetry Foundation's Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt.

Pianist Victor Atkins’ distinct style has been is heralded as “infectious, unconventional, tasteful, and powerful" all at once. Master saxophonist Ed Petersen has that big tenor sound that he honed as a star player for years on the Chicago jazz scene. Steve Masakowski is recognized as one of the finest jazz guitarist of New Orleans by Offbeat magazine and is a long-time member of the highly praised Astral Project.

November 6 Guitarist/Banjoist Don Vappie

A New Orleans native creole, “Papa” Don Vappie can draw audiences in with his versatile background in many styles of New Orleans music, but his true love is classic Jazz and creole music. Vappie is the founder of the Creole Jazz Serenaders that performs unique arraignments of traditional New Orleans jazz from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. Vappie is known for his original banjo style, showcased at banjo summits around the world, but also plays mandolin, guitar, string bass and is a fine vocalist as well. Don’s music incorporates the musical legacy of the New Orleans and Caribbean Creole culture. On November 6th, he will be a guest with both the UNO Classic Jazz Combo under Instructor Matt Perrine with students Claudia Baumgarten, Ying-Chen Lin, Matthew Folse, Asher Ross, Chris Gontar, Tom Witek and Ciaran Brennan, and Hank Mackie's Guitar Ensemble featuring students Mike Roussell, Adam Guthrie, Jared Buck, Soren Andrade, Dudley Gattis, Brandon Guimbellot and Juri Schewe.

November 13 Pianist Jeff Gardner

Pianist Jeff Gardner is originally from New York but has now lived in Brazil for over two decades. He will be bringing his varied repertoire of contemporary jazz, bossa nova and classical styles to the stage. Gardner has performed with such musicians as Kenny Wheeler, Gary Peacock, Eddie Harris and Steve Lacy. Gardner is active as a jazz educator, having conducted workshops around the world and is the author of several jazz study materials.  Jeff Gardner’s unique mixture of Brazilian sounds and jazz caught the attention of legendary Brazilian artist Hermeto Pascoal, who said “His music is tasty and beautiful, wait and see, Jeff is a great musician -I am speaking from the heart." He did a wonderful clinic at UNO last year. On November 13, he will guest with Ricky Sebastian’s World Beat Combo featuring students Greg Morrow,Byron Asher, Adam Guthrie,Chris Gontar,Noah Young, Alexey Marti, Anthony Cuccia, Luke Hester, Jua Ferdinand and Instructor Edward Petersen with students Devin Belton,Drew Fink, Jared Buck,Andrew Coker and Matt Keegan.

November 20 Trumpeter Randy Brecker

Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R&B and Rock for more than four decades. The versatile artist commands the trumpet and flugelhorn like no other musician. Though Randy is known as an expert of the hard bop style, he was also a founding member of the seminal Jazz Fusion group the Brecker Brothers band along with brother Michael Brecker. He was also a founding member of the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears and has performed with some of the greatest band of all time including with the Horace Silver Quintet, Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. He has also recorded on hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament-Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn and Jaco Pastorius.


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.

The Jazz world lost the gentleman giant of piano Mulgrew Miller on May 29. His death was caused by a fatal stroke. Mulgrew had just done a short residency in New Orleans, appearing at the UNO Jazz @ the Sandbar on April 3rd followed by a master class the next day and a performance at the Snug Harbor on April 4. UNO Professor and pianist Victor Atkins had studied with Mulgrew at Memphis State and was an advocate for bringing Mulgrew to New Orleans this spring. He saw how important it was for his students to learn from the master. "The thing about Mulgrew is you could hear so much jazz history in his playing. He could play in an older style of jazz and make it sound new and fresh. My students were able to experience that level of history from someone that had played with and absorbed from so many giants of the music. You can't hear that from the younger players on the scene today."

Post show hang with Jason Patterson, Jordan Baker, Mulgrew and Victor Atkins from the Sandbar Spring 2013 Series. Photos courtesy of Missy Bowen.

More about Mulgrew follows written by Geraldine Wychoff

to be published in Louisiana Weekly next issue:


Pianist Mulgrew Miller Passes

Mulgrew Miller, a renowned jazz pianist of great physical and musical stature, died on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at the age of 57.

Miller, who played with a who's who of jazz artists, was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and was residing in Pennsylvania and teaching jazz studies at New Jersey's William Paterson University. Nonetheless, with all of his New Orleans connections, Miller was considered one of our city's own. Just last April, the pianist performed with students at the University of New Orleans' Sandbar series and in a quartet at Snug Harbor with natives drummer Herlin Riley, saxophonist Derek Douget and bassist Jason Stewart.

“It was a wonderful visit,” says Jason Patterson who books the UNO series and Snug Harbor. “He had a great rapport with the kids at the Sandbar and then he did a Masters Class. New Orleans is a piano players' town, so there was always a great turnout,” adds Patterson, who believes Miller's initial appearance at Snug was many years ago with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Miller made his first of many trips to New Orleans at age 20 playing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington. When he was a member of drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the frontline boasted saxophonist Donald Harrison and trumpeter Terence Blanchard. His New Orleans ties also include playing on saxophonist Branford Marsalis' first album, 1984's Scenes in the City, and trumpeter Nicholas Payton's 1995 release From This Moment. Miller made his final of numerous performances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2011 as a member of the Golden Striker Trio.

In a 2005 interview Miller offered that he always looked forward to his trips to New Orleans. “I like coming South – I'm from the South. That's my roots. My upbringing is basically who I am.”

Offbeat's Look-Ka Py Py Podcast catches up with event producer Jason Patterson on the Jazz at the Sandbar Series below:

Click here to take the Jazz at the Sandbar Spring Series Survey

Wonderful evening at Jazz at the Sandbar on May 1st with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Ricky Sebastian's World Beat Combo!

Ellis Marsalis Opens Jazz @ the Sandbar Concert Series: Wednesday, October 3, 7:00 P.M.



Jazz @ the Sandbar


7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
SANDBAR at the new COVE

Founders Rd.
on UNO campus

General Admission: $5.00 PER PERSON
UNO students, faculty & staff free w/ UNO ID.

Thank you to the following sponsors:

Nate & Priscilla Gordon













The performance series Downbeat Magazine calls “One of the best things going in America".

Jazz @ the Sandbar Returns to Wednesdays this Fall

New Orleans favorite father figure Ellis Marsalis kicks off the Fall 2012 series in the recently opened Cove on the University of New Orleans Lakefront campus. This season, all events will be on Wednesday beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Here is the complete schedule of guest artists coming through the end of the season:


It is becoming a tradition that UNO patriarch and jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the Sandbar season, and this year is no exception. The premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans...and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. Together with his sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, the Marsalis clan is often referred to as ‘The First Family of Jazz’.


DEREK DOUGET on October 10

Saxophonist Derek Douget serenades audiences with equally powerful and melodic vibes as he switches between alto, soprano, and tenor sax throughout his sets. A native to Gonzales, Louisiana, Douget contains an advanced jazz dexterity that is reminiscent of Sidney Bechet and old world New Orleans. Notably, he performed on the 2010 Grammy Winning Album “Book One” with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The Grammy was awarded for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.



Classically trained pianist Jonathan Lefcoski has made a name for himself in the jazz world by playing with the likes of Jason Marsalis, Grammy winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton and with the legendary R&B vocalist Johnny Adams. Lefcoski has toured internationally as a musical ambassador for the US State Department throughout Europe and the Middle East saying that "music is universal" throughout all languages.



University of New Orleans professors Victor Atkins, Ed Petersen and Steve Masakowski will perform original Jazz music based on renowned authors William Faulkner, Dr. Seuss and John Kennedy Toole. These performances were originally presented as a Jazz Masters Series commissioned by New Orleans Jazz Institute.



Known as the “Picasso of Jazz Piano,” Joanne Brackeen’s cutting-edge elegance as a musician ranks her among some of the top pianist in the world including Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, and Chick Corea. Brackeen first gained recognition as the first and only female member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1969-1972. With 25 albums to date, her style is consistently inventive, dynamic, and filled with playful imagery that captivates audiences.


with the UNO Guitar Ensembles on November 7

World class seven-string jazz guitarist Ted Ludwig is an improviser who plays with effortless grace the melody and swing of traditional jazz. While a student at the University of New Orleans, Ludwig studied with jazz notables Ellis Marsalis, Harold Batiste, Hank Mackie and Steve Masakowski. Transplanted to Little Rock after Hurricane Katrina, the alumni is back in the Big Easy to team up with the UNO Guitar Ensembles under the direction of Mackie and Masakowski.



with the UNO Classic jazz Combo November 14

Grandson of the legendary trumpeter John "Picket" Brunious, Sr. and nephew of internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeters Wendell Brunious and John Brunious, Jr., Mark Braud was destined to acquire a passion for music and pursue a career as a musician. A native to New Orleans, Mark has toured with Harry Connick Jr., Dr. Michael White, Henry Butler, and Legendary R&B singer Eddie Bo to name a few. Mark Braud joined Preservation Hall Jazz Band as one of its youngest members, keeping the New Orleans jazz tradition alive.

‘Jazz at the Sandbar’ was established in 1990 by Ellis Marsalis, the first Chairman of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. The Jazz at the Sandbar performances are designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with 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 which have included Marcus Roberts, Ravi Coltrane and Nicholas Payton among many others.

“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, WWNO, Nate & Priscilla Gordon, the UNO international Alumni Association and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration. For further information, call UNO Music Dept. at 504-280-6381 or visit www.nojc.org/sandbar.

New Orleans Jazz Celebration Bringing an Understanding and Appreciation of Jazz to Louisiana and the World



UNO students Barry Stevenson and Jamison Ross (bass & drums) are caught backstage at San Francisco's premiere jazz club Yoshi's with New Orleans piano professor Henry Butler. Henry selected them to do his July 27th gig there and was very impressed with them. Jamison stayed in the Bay Area to play that Sunday with Carmen Lundy at Bach's Dancing & Dynamite Society Lodge in Half Moon Bay.

“…is one of the best things going in America.” –Downbeat Magazine

Archival video of Jazz @ the Sandbar from 1992 (at the original Sandbar in the Cove)

Images from the 20th Anniversary Fall 2010 series of Jazz @ the Sandbar

Images courtesy of Brian Epstein

October 27, 2010 Drummer and Balafon player Seguenon Kone with Brian Seeger's combo

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar


October 6, 2010 Saxophonist Brice Winston with UNOJO

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar


October 13, 2010 Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport with UNOJO and UNO Jazz Voices

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar

Jazz @ the Sandbar


‘Jazz at the Sandbar’ was established in 1990 by Ellis Marsalis, the first Chairman of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. The Jazz at the Sandbar performances are designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with 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 which have included Marcus Roberts, Ravi Coltrane and Nicholas Payton. Downbeat Magazine has declared “Jazz at the Sandbar Series is one of the best things going in America.”

New Orleans Jazz Celebration UNO Student Government UNO Alumni

UNO Jazz Studies SnugHarbor WWNO



Sonny Fortune at Sandbar Saxophonist Sonny Fortune with UNO Jazz Combo

Guitarist Prince Kupi from South Africa with UNO Jazz Combo