The Roots of Music is honored to be a 2024 recipient of The Lewis Prize for Music


Marching Crusaders

Our Marching Crusaders band program serves youth ages 9-14 from low- income households and provides our students with hot meals and round-trip transportation to reduce common barriers to participation. Five days a week, 12 months a year, this program delivers over 2,500 hours of instrumental music education, music theory and other academic tutoring, over 30,400 nutritious hot meals, 1,400 bus journeys, and supplies up to 200 instruments for student use free of charge.

Applicants are not required to have any musical background but applicants must be between the ages of 9-14, attend an Orleans Parish School and qualify for free/reduced lunch to be eligible for enrollment in the program.

Roots of Music provides instrumental instruction on the following marching band instruments:

  • Flute/Piccolo
  • Clarinet
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Mellophone
  • Trombone
  • Baritone & Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tenor Drum
  • Bass Drum



The Roots of Music’s programming is designed and led by the highest caliber musicians and music educators. Our programming has won multiple awards including the Arhoolie award, The Adolf Busch Award, and finalist for The Lewis Prize. High profile performances include appearances at the Rose Bowl Parade, North Sea Jazz Fest in Rotterdam, Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, The French Jazz Sous Les Pommiers festival as well as our own local Mardi Gras Parades, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Satchmo Summer Festival, French Quarter Festival and Essence Festival.



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We Believe music has the power to transform lives