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The Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music Auditions

Kidd Jordan teaching at the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music. Photo by Stephen Houser.

The Heritage School of Music is looking for new students to participate in their free jazz education program. Auditions are at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Dillard University.

Since 1990, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has sponsored a free jazz education program, the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music. Many of New Orleans' favorite musicians have attended the school, including Sammie Williams of Big Sam's Funky Nation, Shamarr Allen and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.

The school currently meets on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Dillard University. Students learn the fundamentals of jazz performance and theory in brass instruments, woodwinds, guitar, bass, piano, drums and voice. Participants have the opportunity to perform at Jazz Fest and other events.

The Heritage School is currently seeking additional students to participate in the Spring 2013 semester.

Auditions for new students will be held Saturday, Jan. 12., at 10 a.m. on the second floor of Dillard University's Cook Fine Arts Center (2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans). Students from throughout the New Orleans metro region are welcome.

The program admits beginning to advanced students. Eligible students should own their own instrument.



  • Should have completed at least one year of instruction on their instruments.
  • Should able to perform at least one major scale.
  • Will be asked to perform alone or with an instructor.

More advanced students should be prepared to:

  • Perform a song (preferably a jazz standard) that demonstrates their full range of ability.
  • Demonstrate an ability to improvise over a blues form in the keys of F and B flat.
  • Play a chromatic scale (two octaves).
  • Sight-read an unfamiliar jazz composition.
  • For pianists and bassists, demonstrate a fundamental ability to read chord changes

Drummers should have at least some experience with:

  • Single stroke and double stroke rolls
  • Flams and paradiddles
  • Reading snare drum music
  • Playing very basic jazz beat and rock/funk beat
  • Second Line rhythms
  • Playing a C Major scale on the piano

Vocalists should be able to sing an unfamiliar melodic phrase after hearing it once or twice. Experience with reading music is a plus.


The Heritage School of Music boasts of faculty that includes some of the finest musicians in New Orleans. These include program coordinator and saxophonist Derek Douget, pianist and NOCCA instructor Michael Pellera, trumpeter Leon Brown, vocalist Leah Chase, guitarist John Bagnato, bassist Peter Harris and drummer Ricky Sebastian. Founding director Edward "Kidd" Jordan is the program's artistic director.

The Heritage School of Music is named in honor of Don “Moose” Jamison, a beloved jazz authority and longtime disc jockey on radio station WWOZ. As a Jazz & Heritage Foundation board member, he played a leading role in establishing the program. He died in 2003.

For more information about the Heritage School of Music, please contact the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation by calling (504) 558-6100, or sending an email to


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