Support Free Music Education in New Orleans

We'd like to thank Fred Lyon, Lynn Lyon, and Curtis Colden for their incredible generosity in hosting this fundraising campaign.

The Roots of Music was founded by Derrick Tabb (Rebirth Brass Band) in 2007 with the belief that music has the power to transform lives. The funds raised on this page will help transform the lives of our students by sustaining their access to free, year-round music education, academic support and personal mentoring, as well as providing new experiences at home and abroad. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.


The Roots of Music
New Orleans, LA

Years Active: 11
Students Served Per Year: 200+

Empowering Our Youth
The Roots of Music empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship, while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of our city.


What We Do
Our program provides music history and theory as well as instrumental instruction and ensemble performance preparation. We serve kids ages 9-14 from low-income households, and provide our students with hot meals and round-trip transportation to reduce common barriers to participation. Five days a week, 12 months a year, our program delivers over 2,500 hours of music education and other academic tutoring, over 30,400 nutritious hot meals, 1,400 bus journeys, and supplies over 150 instruments for student use. Learn more at 


Upcoming Events:

May 30 - June 8
Jazz Sous Les Pommiers Festival in Normandy, France

The Roots of Music will be traveling to perform at the world famous Jazz Sous Les Pommiers Festival in Normandy, FR in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. We are so fortunate to be able to offer these kinds of experiences to our students. 

In addition to performing at the Jazz Sous Les Pommiers festival, Roots students will collaborate and perform with a 70 piece orchestra at the College in Mortain. They will also spend the day playing and learning alongside a student concert band at a high school in nearby Périers. The Students will get the opportunity to visit Mont St. Michel, Omaha Beach, and the WWII Memorial Museum there. Executive Director Morgan Stewart, Band Director Darren Rodgers, Senior Music Instructor Shoan Ruffin, and Music Instructor LeBron Joseph will be leading 13 students on this incredible journey to perform at the Normandy festival on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Students: McKenzie Bourgeois, Kelci McGinnis, Caleb Wilson, Gary Williams, Dream Rickmon, Corey Cotton, Bevan Gordon, Perry Gordon, Derrick Santa Cruz, Tryisten Washington, Chance Nichols, Kameron Brown, Nylah Wright.

39382970_1558463903389885_r.jpegWe know that none of what we do would be possible without the incredible generosity of our community. Please consider sponsoring one of our students on this amazing trip

July 6 - August 9
Berklee College of Music
Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive Program

The world's preeminent summer musical performance program. With instruction from Berklee's renowned faculty and curriculum that offers college credit, this immersive program is designed to enhance the playing or singing performance skills of pre-college and high school students. Student attendees are then eligible for partial or full scholarships to Berklee's four year undergraduate program upon graduation from high school.

Roots graduates Diji Diallo, Gregory Cyrus and Trevon Sullen (above) were all accepted to the Berklee College of Music four year undergraduate program on a full tuition scholarship by way of the Berklee Five-Week Intensive Program. We are so proud of these young men for their hard work and determination since leaving our program. With three more Roots alumni attending again this Summer, we're excited to see more of our students joining these young men in Boston in the coming years.

We are incredibly honored to partner with the Berklee College Music Network to offer our students these opportunities, but sometimes even a full ride is not enough to make their dream a reality. Each year we strive to help our students pay for their room and board and round trip flights, and we couldn't do that without the incredible generosity of our Roots community. If you can, please donate today to support the dreams of these young musicians. Thank you.


Ani DiFranco + Rebirth Brass Band's Derrick Tabb for The Roots of Music (New Orleans, LA)

  • Anonymous 
    • 100 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 50 $ 
    • 31 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 500 $ 
    • 31 mos
  • Bonnie Cochran 
    • 100 $ 
    • 31 mos
  • Emilie Rhys 
    • 250 $ 
    • 31 mos
See all


The Roots Of Music 
New Orleans, LA
Roots Of Music Inc (The Roots Of Music) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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