Archive for April, 2011
At the end of the semester, the collection of each student’s blogs will be graded for participation and content.
Compilation will be due by noon on Tuesday, May 10th (email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Each student will blog about what this class means in general and to you individually.
Due by noon on Tuesday, May 10th.
David Simon, is a Baltimore-based journalist, author and television producer. Born in Washington, he came to Baltimore in 1983 to work as a crime reporter at The Baltimore Sun. While at the paper, he reported and wrote two works of narrative non-fiction, Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, the former an account of a year spent with the city homicide squad and the latter, a year spent on a West Baltimore drug corner. Homicide became the basis for the NBC drama which aired from 1993 to 1999 and for which Simon worked as a writer and producer after leaving The Sun in 1995. The Corner became an HBO miniseries and won three Emmy Awards in 2000. The Wire, a subsequent HBO drama, aired from 2002 to 2008 and depicted a dystopic American city contending with a fraudulent drug war, the loss of its industrial base, political and educational systems incapable of reform and a media culture oblivious to all of the above.
5-7:30pm – Irvin Mayfield & the Jazz Playhouse Revue
7:30pm – Second-line to Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse
8pm – Irvin Mayfield & the Jazz Playhouse Revue @IMJazzPlayhouse
Soledad O’Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN/U.S. Since joining the network in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today. She also covers political news as part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television.”
O’Brien’s most recent documentaries include Almighty Debt, a Black in America special that explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Rescued, a look at Haiti’s remarkable children before, during and after the devastating earthquake; and Gary and Tony Have a Baby, the story of two gay men and their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them. In 2009, Soledad reported for Latino in America, a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country; how they’re reshaping America and how America is reshaping them. Prior, O’Brien reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans. O’Brien’s reporting for Black in America in 2008 revealed the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has also reported for the CNN documentary Words That Changed a Nation, featuring a never-before-seen look at Dr. King’s private writings and notes, and investigated his assassination in Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination. Her Children of the Storm project and One Crime at a Time documentary demonstrate O’Brien’s continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans.
O’Brien joined CNN as the co-anchor of the network’s flagship morning program, American Morning, and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the transformational stories that broke on her watch. For CNN’s Katrina coverage, O’Brien’s reports on the storm’s impact included an in-depth interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown. She also covered the London terrorism attacks in July 2005, and in December 2004, she was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami.
In 2010, she released her critically-acclaimed memoir The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences. That same year, the National Association of Black Journalists named O’Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America. In 2009, she received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a catalyst for social change. Also in 2008, O’Brien was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami. O’Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the tsunami. Her numerous other awards include a Gracie Allen Award in 2007 for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.
O’Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she anchored the network’s Weekend Today since July 1999. Prior, O’Brien anchored MSNBC’s award-winning technology program The Site. O’Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and TODAY. Before her time at NBC, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. She began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston.
Soledad O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University and currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.
Nolan V. Rollins, President
Nolan V. Rollins has a deeply rooted history with the Urban League, having served the 87-year-old civil rights organization in numerous capacities. As the Senior Vice President of Economic and Community Development for the Baltimore affiliate from 2004-2007, he successfully directed, planned and implemented all economic and community development strategies including housing and commercial realty; worked with corporations and foundations to support financial empowerment programs; and helped coordinate and create business partnerships to increase local minority business participation in the Urban League and community. He also drafted bond bills for capital build-outs and rehabilitation, and oversaw $2.5 billion for economic and inclusion opportunities. From 2001-2004, Rollins served on the Board of Directors of the Baltimore affiliate while concurrently serving as the Eastern Region Vice President and Treasurer of the National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP). He was a founder of NULYP and served as its first president. Rollins currently represents NULYP on the National Urban League Board of Trustees, where he serves on the Program, Affiliate Services and Strategic Planning committees.
Rollins earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Virginia State University and was honored with the Community Service Award and the Outstanding Public Administrators Award. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Legal Ethics and Historical Studies from the University of Baltimore, and received his Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law. During law school, Rollins was Associate Justice of the Honor Court, a member of the Judicial Review Board and a Student Bar Association representative.
A native of Baltimore, Rollins is accompanied to New Orleans by his wife, attorney and legislative expert Michelle Burks-Rollins, and their son, Mason.
He is active on the boards and committees of several civic, cultural and philanthropic organizations including the Walters Art Museum’s African American Steering Committee, One World Cultural Arts Center Board of Directors, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Henry Simmons Lodge #379.
Twitter – @NOMA1910
When Susan Taylor first considered the directorship of the New Orleans Museum of Art—a position she assumed September 1—she thought about the opportunities presented by NOMA, but also by the city itself. “I was attracted by the chance to engage with a city that is as culturally and historically rich as New Orleans,” Taylor explained via phone from her home in Princeton, New Jersey, where she was busy packing up for her move to New Orleans last summer. “The richness and complexity of the city lends itself to the many interpretive opportunities that a museum presents.”
An art historian with more than twenty years experience as a museum director, Taylor brings a big picture leadership style and a penchant for multidisciplinary connections—artistic, cultural, historical—that promise exciting changes on the horizon at NOMA. She is especially interested in continuing to explore and foster the relationship between the Museum and the city as a whole. “I see a tremendous opportunity for the Museum to respond to the city’s history and culture, and also to be a catalyst for it,” she says.
Art, Culture, and Community
A native of Buffalo, New York, Taylor attended Vassar College, where she started out with a political science major and plans for law school. Then, in her sophomore year, she took an art history class, and everything changed. “The chance to think about art in the context of culture and history—to begin looking at history through the lens of art—was interesting to me,” she recalls. “It made me realize, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
Excited by the full picture a multidisciplinary approach—highlighting the interconnectedness of music, art, patronage, politics—could reveal about a moment in time, she changed her major to Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Taylor spent a junior semester in Rome studying art history, literature and language; after graduation, she returned to Italy on a fellowship to study art conservation. In graduate school at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Taylor continued her focus on Italian Renaissance art, as well as modern art and architecture.
Her twenty-plus year career as a museum director has been marked by innovation and engaged leadership. During her twelve-year tenure at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, she oversaw the development of an award-winning facility designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. At the Princeton University Art Museum, where she was director for eight years, Taylor instituted wide-ranging advances in collections development, planning, programming, and outreach. She has also been deeply involved in the ongoing debate about collection ownership and cultural property issues, lecturing widely on the subject and successfully negotiating ownership claims between Princeton and the Italian government. Currently, she is a member of a small working group of American museum directors and archaeologists who are committed to developing opportunities for collaboration and research.
In addition to her directorial experience, Taylor brings a host of professional activities and knowledge to the position at NOMA. She chairs the Museum Advisory Board for the Frances Lehman Loeb Arts Center at Vassar College; serves on the Advisory Board for the Getty Museum; is a former trustee for the American Federation of the Arts; and has been an active member and former board member of the Association of Art Museum Directors.
Most recently, Taylor served as director of strategic initiatives for Isles, Inc., a nonprofit community development and environmental organization in Trenton, New Jersey. Founded by former Princeton students and faculty, the organization seeks to promote healthy and sustainable communities through a wide range of outreach efforts, including arts-related programming. Taylor’s experience at Isles, Inc. gave her a fresh perspective on the power of art, one she expects will complement her new role at NOMA. “Working in Trenton, a city that has so many challenges, allowed me to think about the relationship of art to the urban environment and its attendant challenges,” she says. Education and visual learning opportunities are just one way museums and other arts institutions can have an impact in the community, she notes. She believes NOMA is uniquely positioned for such efforts.
Taylor approaches a directorship with the same broad, connection-minded approach she brings to her intellectual pursuits: to bring together all components of the organization to create a clearer, more vital whole. “A director of a museum should be the cultural ambassador for the institution,” she notes. “I try always to look at the big picture. What aspects of the museum affect the others; how they converge and diverge; and how we can maximize the many opportunities a museum can offer to its public.”
The Museum’s sixth director, Taylor will be the second woman to hold the position. She will succeed E. John Bullard, who has served as NOMA director for thirty-seven years. Bullard will remain on staff as director emeritus through 2011 to help facilitate the transition and continue work on NOMA’s centennial celebration. “As NOMA celebrates its centennial, I am thrilled that Susan Taylor will lead the Museum into its next century of service and success,” Bullard says. “She is an outstanding choice to lead our institution.”
For eleven years, Rick Tramonto was executive chef and founding partner at Chicago’s world-renowned four-star fine-dining restaurant Tru, in partnership with Rich Melman, chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Tramonto is also culinary director of Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood, and RT Sushi Bar & Lounge. In 2010, Tramonto announced his partnership with Louisiana native Chef John Folse and the formation of a new restaurant company, Home on the Range. Tramonto and Folse plan to launch their first joint restaurant project, Restaurant R’evolution, in New Orleans’ Royal Sonesta Hotel in the renowned French Quarter in 2011.
Tramonto has received a bevy of awards and honors including the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: Midwest Award, the Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence, Food & Wine Magazine’s Top 10 Best New Chefs 1994. Rick was also part of the team that received: Outstanding Service Award from The James Beard Foundation, Four-star Mobil, and the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
He has a history of television work as well, appearing on Oprah, Today, CBS This Morning, Simply Ming and Iron Chef America on Food Network. He was a judge on Bravo TV’s hit reality program Top Chef. Most recently he was a contestant on Season 2 of Top Chef Masters.
Tramonto is an accomplished cookbook author with seven titles to his credit: American Brasserie; Butter Sugar Flour Eggs; Amuse-Bouche; Tru; Fantastico!; Osteria; and his most recent book, Steak with Friends: At Home with Rick Tramonto. His memoir, Scars of a Chef, is set to be published in March 2011 by Tyndale House Publishers.
Tramonto is active in his church and supports a number of charities, including Feed the Children, and Angel Tree. Tramonto resides with his wife and three sons in the Chicago area.
Mary Matalin joined CNN as a Republican strategist and political contributor in April 2009 and now appears on a variety of network programs, including Anderson Cooper 360°, John King, USA, State of the Union with Candy Crowley and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. In addition, Matalin appears exclusively alongside her husband, Democratic strategist and fellow CNN political contributor James Carville, on John King, USA.
Matalin has worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. She formerly held the White House positions of assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. Matalin served as the deputy campaign manager for political operations during President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 reelection campaign, and as a strategist for his 1988 campaign. In between the campaigns, Matalin was chief of staff for the Republican National Committee.
Matalin currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Threshold Editions. She has appeared as a political commentator on television, and was formerly a host of CNN’s Crossfire, CNBC’s Equal Time and The Mary Matalin Show for the CBS Talk Radio Network. In 1996, 1997 and 1998, Talkers Magazine named Matalin one of “The 100 Most Important Talk Show Hosts” in the country.
She also has penned articles for opinion pages and several books, including Letters to My Daughter, which received recognition on multiple book lists, and All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President, which she co-authored with Carville.
IRVIN MAYFIELD AND NOJO BUILD ON THE LEGACY OF ELLIS MARSALIS, HAROLD BATTISTE AND JAMES BLACK DURING MASTERS MONTH
Month-long series combines performances and educational seminars by UNO professors Steve Masakowski, Victor Atkins, Ed Petersen, and the launch of a modern jazz masters archive at UNO.
(March 9, 2011) – New Orleans, LA: Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) in partnership with the University of New Orleans (UNO) announced today the launch of Masters Month, a celebration of the modern jazz masters of New Orleans, including pianist and Marsalis family patriarch Ellis Marsalis, producer, composer and arranger Harold Battiste, and the late drummer James Black. The musical canon of these Jazz masters will be explored at weekly performances at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, at special master classes for UNO students and at workshops for school-age students at the New Orleans Jazz Institute’s Saturday Music School. Also, the complete work of Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and James Black will be collected and archived at the University of New Orleans. Each of the performances will also be recorded at UNO.
“By performing, teaching and archiving the work of Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and James Black, we are fortifying their legacy, so that musicians and audiences can experience their masterful music today as well as in the future.” states Irvin Mayfield, Grammy award-winning trumpeter and director of the New Orleans Jazz Institute at UNO. “One of NOJO’s missions is to highlight the origins of Jazz, and Masters Month allows us to explore and capture the music of some of the most prolific musicians of the modern jazz era of New Orleans.” adds Ronald Markham, CEO and President of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
Led by UNO professors Steve Masakowski, the Coca-Cola Endowed Chair and Director of Jazz Studies; and NOJO members, Victor Atkins, the Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Music; and Ed Petersen, Associate Chair of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies, March Masters Month includes the following:
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel
- Tuesday, March 15, 8pm – The Music of Ellis Marsalis featuring Victor Atkins
- Tuesday, March 22, 8pm – The Music of Harold Battiste featuring Ed Petersen
- Tuesday, March 29, 8pm – The Music of James Black featuring Steve Masakowski
- Friday, April 8, 2:30-4:30 pm – A Celebration of the Masters featuring Steve Masakowski, Victor Atkins and Ed Petersen during French Quarter Festival
UNO Campus: Irvin Mayfield’s “Music Inside Out” class, 6pm
- Wednesday, March 16 – The Music of Ellis Marsalis by Victor Atkins
- Wednesday, March, 23 – The Music of Harold Battiste by Ed Petersen
- Wednesday, March 30 – The Music of James Black by Steve Masakowski
UNO Jazz Studies Master Class: Friday, April 1, 2:30-4:30 pm – Combined Master Class with live performances, UNO PAC 103
Saturday Music School, New Orleans Jazz Institute at UNO
School-age students will learn the compositions of Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and James Black.
- March 19, 9am-11am: Workshop with Ed Petersen
- March 26, 9am-11am: Workshop with Victor Atkins
- April 2, 9am-11am: Workshop with Steve Masakowski
- Saturday, April 9th, 4-5pm: Professors to perform one song each with Saturday Music School students at FQF
Archive & Recording
UNO professors are collecting the works of Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and James Black. Also the following commissions will be recorded at UNO:
- The Music of Ellis Marsalis, Victor Atkins
- The Music of Harold Battiste, Ed Petersen
- The Music of James Black, Steve Masakowski
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) is a performing-arts organization whose goal is to strengthen the business of jazz through performances, touring, recordings, education and media platforms. Founded in 2002 by trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Irvin Mayfield, NOJO’s mission is to inspire freedom and culture in the individual and the global community by creating authentic, engaging jazz experiences, while celebrating the origins and transforming the future of jazz. A non-profit organization, NOJO is engaged in innovative partnerships with Tulane University and the University of New Orleans, where it established the New Orleans Jazz Institute and its Saturday Music School for children. In 2010, NOJO won a Grammy Award for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble for its debut CD Book One. To learn more about NOJO visit, www.thenojo.com
The New Orleans Jazz Institute serves to promote education, collaboration, and leadership in the jazz community. Founded in partnership with University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra in 2008, the mission of the New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI) is to link UNO’s strengths in jazz education with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s strengths in professional practice and performance. NOJI serves to promote creative excellence and best practices in Jazz composition, performance, scholarship, importation, exportation, and education.
NEW ORLEANS MODERN JAZZ MASTERS BIOGRAPHIES
Ellis Marsalis is regarded as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans. Born on November 14, 1934, he began formal music studies at the Xavier University junior school of music at age eleven. After high school Marsalis enrolled in Dillard University as a clarinet major. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1955. Marsalis spent the next year working as an assistant manager in his father’s motel business. The following year Marsalis then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and while stationed in southern California began honing his skills as a pianist on a television show entitled Dress Blues and a radio show called Leatherneck Songbook. After completing a stint in the Marine Corps Marsalis returned to New Orleans and married Dolores Ferdinand, a New Orleanian, who bore him six sons; Branford, Wynton, Ellis III, Delfeayo, Miboya and Jason.
In 1964 Marsalis moved his wife and family of, at the time, four sons to the small rural Louisiana town of Breux Bridge where he became a school band and choral director at Carver High School. After two years, Marsalis returning to New Orleans and began freelancing on the local music scene. Between 1966 and 1974 Marsalis would perform at the Playboy Club, the Al Hirt nightclub, and Lu and Charles. He entered the teaching profession again as an adjunct professor at Xavier University.
In 1974, Marsalis returned to school and worked on a Masters Degree at Loyola University. In the same year, Marsalis also secured a teaching position at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a new Magnet school for the arts. He would spend the next twelve years at NOCCA as an instrumental music teacher with a Jazz studies emphasis.
In 1986 Marsalis accepted the position of Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He would spend two of the three years as coordinator of Jazz Studies before returning to New Orleans and the University of New Orleans to become the Director of the Coca-Cola endowed Chair of Jazz Studies Department.
Marsalis received Honorary Doctorate degrees from his alma mater Dillard University in 1989 and Ball State University in 1997. Marsalis enjoys national recognition and has been a guest on several network television shows. He continues to be active as a performing pianist leading his own group and has several recordings on the CBS-SONY label. He is currently developing his own recording label, ELM RECORDS, with his wife Dolores and son Jason.
On August 10, 2001 Marsalis officially retired from the University of New Orleans after twelve years as the first occupant of the Coca Cola Jazz Chair and the Director of the Jazz Studies Division.
Though he’s little known outside of New Orleans and never recorded an album under his own name, drummer James Black was a Crescent City legend capable of performing everything from complex modernist jazz to gritty funk. An accomplished composer as well, Black had a reputation for being an irascible bandleader, intimidating with his personality just as much as his skill.
Born in New Orleans on February 1, 1940, Black soaked up the city’s trademark “second line” rhythms from a young age, and by the early ’60s was already doing session work for the likes of Fats Domino. His main interest was jazz and he played in a group with the young Ellis Marsalis on piano and Nat Perrilliat on sax. Nat Adderley (along with brother Cannonball) used all three on his 1962 session In the Bag, to which Black contributed two compositions. The following year, Marsalis cut an underrated album of modern jazz called Monkey Puzzle; this time out Black handled four of the seven compositions, including the intricate 5/4 piece Magnolia Triangle, which ranks as perhaps his greatest work. Black went on to play with Yusef Lateef and Lionel Hampton in the mid-’60s, although his career was interrupted by a stint in the Angola State Penitentiary (during which time he actually played in a prison band with blues pianist James Booker and saxophonist Charles Neville).
In the late ’60s, Black paid the bills with R&B gigs around New Orleans, and in 1968 caught on at the Scram label as a house drummer. He played on Eddie Bo’s Hook and Sling, helping to make it one of the great New Orleans funk singles, and soon took his place alongside Smokey Johnson and the Meters’ Ziggy Modeliste as one of the city’s top funky drummers. Meanwhile, he continued to play jazz on the side as part of Ellis Marsalis’ band ELM Music Company; they took up residency at Lu and Charlie’s beginning in 1972 and became local favorites. During the ’70s, Black also led his own group, the James Black Ensemble, which often featured his longtime girlfriend “Sister Mary” Bonette on vocals. He attempted several times to record a full-length album, including once for the Sound of New Orleans label and another time at Allen Toussaint’s studio, but the sessions never progressed beyond a few tracks. Black continued performing in New Orleans into the ’80s, still playing with Ellis Marsalis (as well as Marsalis’ then-teenage pupil, Harry Connick Jr.); he also served as the drummer for the 1982 Marsalis Family album Fathers and Sons. Black died of a drug overdose on August 30, 1988.
In 2002, the Night Train label assembled a compilation of mostly unreleased tracks, many from Black’s aborted LP sessions; I Need Altitude: Rare and Unreleased New Orleans Jazz and Funk, 1968-1978 ran the gamut from heavy funk and psychedelic soul to soul-jazz, and featured several of the drummer’s own vocals. In the spring of 2003, Ellis and Wynton Marsalis presented a program of Black compositions as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center series.
-Biography by Steve Huey
A native of New Orleans, Harrold Battiste is a professional composer, arranger, performer and teacher. A graduate of Dillard University, Battiste is a critically acclaimed publisher, producer, conductor and musical director for studio, stage, motion pictures and television with credits in jazz, classical, blues and pop.
He co-produced and arranged the career-launching recordings You Send Me by Sam Cooke, I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher, You Talk Too Much by Joe Jones, I Know by Barbara George YaYa by Lee Dorsey. Battiste produced the first albums Gris Gris, Babylon and Gumbo introducing New Orleans artist Mac Rebennack as Dr. John.
From 1976 to 1977, Battiste served as Musical Director to the Sonny & Cher Show and as Touring Musical Director for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis in 1977.
He initiated the first African-American musician-owned record label All For One and publishing company At Last Pub. Co. On this label, Battiste recorded the first contemporary jazz artist in New Orleans including clarinetist Alvin Batiste, drummers Ed Blackwell and James Black, saxophonists Nat Perrilliat and Alvin “Red” Tyler, and pianist Ellis Marsalis.
Battiste joined Ellis Marsalis in 1989 on the Jazz Studies faculty at the University of New Orleans after 30 years in Los Angeles.
Harold Battiste has served on the:
- Louisiana State Music Commission
- New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation School of Music (Founding Board)
- Louisiana Jazz Federation (past President)
- Black Music Hall of Fame (Executive Board)
- African Cultural Endowment (President)
- Congo Square Cultural Collective
- The Department of the Interior’s National Park Service appointed him to the New Orleans Jazz Park Commission.
- WWOZ Community Advisory Board