Monday, June 30, 2008

Relocation to the Contemporary Arts Center

Band Director Lawrence Rawlins directs the RoM brass section.

Today, the Roots of Music program moved to the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), where we will hold music classes for the next six weeks. At the CAC facilities, the students and teachers have some room to stretch out. The drums, woodwinds, lower brass, and upper brass each have their own room to rehearse in, which helps everyone concentrate on their parts (and helps us volunteers save what's left of our hearing!).

Shoan Ruffin has the drummers beating on tables in a dance studio.

Allen Dejan's woodwind section has grown to 12 students in just a few weeks.

Program Director Derrick Tabb is thrilled with the facilities at CAC.

Thanks to the CAC for agreeing to host the program for the next six weeks! And thanks again to Tipitina's for helping launch the program and letting us be their guest for the first six weeks! Consider enrolling in Roots of Music or making a donation here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Good News

Check out this article about Roots of Music by Alison Fensterstock in the New Orleans Gambit Weekly...

Root Causes, June 24, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sponsorship Program Coming Soon

Roots of Music has been growing each week - the horns have graduated from buzzing with their mouth pieces to playing scales on real instruments. A few lucky drummers have started playing actual drums, and some have been assigned to snare drum, bass drum, or cymbals.

This week we took portraits of the students - over 70 so far - and will soon add them to the Roots of Music website. We hope that supporters will choose a student to sponsor and track their progress as they develop into young men and women. You could start right now by looking at these sample pictures and sponsoring one of these students via PayPal here (indicate: "Roots of Music") or e-mailing

Akia West
School: Murra Henderson
Instrument: trumpet
Interests: jumping rope, riding bike, hip hop

Tyler Foley
School: St Peter Claver
Instrument: snare drum
Interests: jazz, blues, math class, language class

Monday, June 2, 2008

Times-Picayune Article on RoM

Check out this article about Roots of Music in today's Times-Picayune newspaper...

PLENTY OF HORNS: Youths to learn the roots of music


Roots of Music instructors: Allen Dejan Jr., Edward Lee, Derrick Tabb,
Lawrence Rawlins, and Shoan Ruffin.

Today we start the third week of the Roots of Music summer pilot session. The program has grown to more than 60 students... and with your help we'll make it to 200 students by the launch of the full program in the Fall!

The most exciting news is the arrival of two new music instructors:

Edward Lee is now the leader of the lower brass section. Edward is the tuba player for the Soul Rebels Brass Band and he came up through the St. Augustine High School Marching 100 and the Jackson State University marching band. The tuba, trombone, and baritone horn players thank Edward for his help!

Allen Dejan Jr. leads the reed players in the RoM marching band. Allen is a graduate of the University of New Orleans jazz studies program and one of the leading saxophone and clarinet players in the city. In this picture, Allen instructs clarinet players Jazz Henry, Kaprisha Walker, Briana Smith, and Marviyan Gilmore (L to R).

A special thanks to all the music teachers at RoM - Matt.