New Orleans is no stranger to musical talent. In fact, its one of the things that defines this city’s culture. That’s why it’s so imperative that we nurture young talent to the best of our abilities.
For the past ten years, the Roots of Music has been doing just that. Located in the historic Treme neighborhood, the free after-school program teaches, supports and empowers New Orleans youth through music education, and all while promoting the culture that binds this city together and brings millions of people here every year.
13 students from the Roots of Music will get a particularly special opportunity this summer when they perform at the world famous North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Led by Executive Director Anne Messner and Co-Founder/Artistic Director Derrick Tabb, these 13 students will represent The Marching Crusaders (Roots of Music’s 150+ member band) and New Orleans’ brass band tradition on stage at the festival, which is slated for July 7-9.
The band includes Owusu Diallo (trombone), Trent Fernandez (tuba), A’Ren Gaines, (bass drum), Lawrence Honore (tenor drum), Alexis Jones (trombone), Shawn May (cymbals), Jovan McQueen (trumpet), Raheim Mitchell (mellophone), Michael Solomon (baritone horn), Nija Polk (clarinet), Nehemiah “Luke” Prater (saxophone), Justin Sterling (snare Drum), and Rashad Thornton (trumpet).
“It’s very important to get to see other parts of the world,” says Tabb. “I think this will be a great opportunity for these children and for this program to be recognized abroad and not just at home.”
The Roots of Music students will join a seriously impressive lineup that features Usher & The Roots, Gladys Knight, Jamiroquai, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Maceo Parker, Solange, De La soul, Norah Jones, Steve Winwood, Emeli Sande, Chick Corea & Bela Fleck,, Lettuce, Corey Henry & The Funk Apostles, The Taj Mahal & Keb Mo Band, Kamasi Washington, Christian McBride, Laura Mvula and many more.
Tickets for the North Sea Jazz Festival are now on sale.