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Jazz School

University of New Orleans – Jazz Studies Program



Founded in 1989 by jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis, the University of New Orleans Jazz Studies program is celebrated for distinction in teaching, unique performance opportunities, and distinguished alumni.

Jazz Studies at UNO embraces both the rich traditions of our city and the innovations and creativity that keep New Orleans on the forefront of a burgeoning creative economy.

Performance Opportunities and Facilities

State of the art studios and labs allow creativity at the cutting edge. Master classes and our “Jazz at the Sandbar” program allow students to learn from and perform with some of the most prominent musicians of our time. UNO students play at numerous venues around the city and festivals such as the world-renowned Jazz Fest and French Quarter fest. They become active members of the vibrant New Orleans music community.


Our Jazz Studies faculty are among the best-known and respected musicians, composers, producers and educators in the field. Their level of professionalism, dedication, and personal attention is routinely cited by students as one of the top reasons to choose Jazz Studies at UNO.

Stephen Masakowski – Guitar

Brian Seeger- Guitar

Ed Peterson – Saxophone

Victor Atkins – Piano


The Department of Music offers undergraduate programs (BA) in Composition, Jazz Studies, Music Studies, and Performance, and graduate programs (MM) in Composition, Conducting, Jazz Studies, and Performance. All programs within the department are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. UNO’s Jazz Studies program is unique: Students learn from and perform with leading professionals, gain hands-on experience, and acquire life-long critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills from our renowned faculty and through a variety of performance experiences. A low faculty-to-student ratio and a tradition of camaraderie among the student body contribute to the quality of the UNO music education experience.


Some recent alumni include Grammy nominated artist Jamison Ross  and Sasha Masakowski  both recognized Paste Magazine as “12 Artists to Watch in 2019.”Many alumni are now distinguished members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra. Others have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, while several are regular members of groups led by Terrence Blanchard, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton and Jon Batiste.

Git with Peter Bernstein

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