Student Activities and Programs


Previous Jazz at the Rat Performances

Spring 2015

James-WestfallJames Westfall
Thursday, February 26
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
While living in New York in 2007, vibraphonist James Westfall founded The Wee Trio which, as the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "consists of jazzmen who grew up on rock 'n' roll and aren't afraid to play it." As a jazz artist, Westfall  was accepted as the first vibraphonist in the history of The Thelonious Monk Institute, and performed with artists such as Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. As a multi-genre instrumentalist, he also leads an electro rock band called Bionica, and also happens to play keytar. Whether performing with his solo projects or his experimental groups, Westfall "prides himself on continuing the tradition of breaking tradition."

Jesse-McBride-A Tribute to Horace Silver
Thursday, March 12
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Jesse McBride and The Next Generation will celebrate the musical legacy of the iconic pianist and hard bop pioneer who passed away in 2014 at the age of 85. Featuring Jesse McBride, piano; Derek Douget, tenor saxophone; Alfred Jordan, Jr., drums; Martin Masakowski, bass; Dominic Minix, guitar; and Ashlin Parker, trumpet.

Rachel-Brotman-loresRachel Brotman
Thursday, April 16
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Rachel Brotman is a vocalist, composer, and pianist born and raised in New York. After years of performing and honing her unique vision in New Orleans, where she graduated from Tulane in 2009 with a music/Jazz Studies major, she returned to Brooklyn to lead her own band, drawing from soul and electronic influences with roots in jazz and improvisation. Bandcamp's Best describes her sound as a "beautiful vocal caress tiptoeing along subtle, strangely riveting melodies," while NPR declares that Brotman's voice "exudes a graceful simplicity."

bridge trio

The Bridge Trio
Thursday, April 23
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The Bridge Trio, consisting of drummer Joe Dyson, bassist Max Moran, and pianist Conun Pappas, has its roots deeply entrenched in the New Orleans jazz tradition. The young musicians first came together while students at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA), under the direction of their mentor and former teacher, legendary clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Today, when not performing as the Bridge Trio, they are members of saxophone master Donald Harrison’s band, and are composers of innovative compositions in the "Nouveau Swing" style, a style of jazz created by Harrison that merges modern dance music with Afro-New Orleans traditional music.

Fall 2014

MuhammadA Tribute to Idris Muhammad
Thursday, October 16
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The Next Generation band, with special guests Herlin Riley (drums, Jazz at Lincoln Center) and Sam Williams (trombone, Big Sam's Funky Nation) will pay tribute to Idris Muhammad (pictured), the legendary New Orleans-born and internationally revered drummer who passed away this past July at the age of 74. From playing with early R&B and rock 'n roll greats in the 1950s, to becoming an in-demand jazz and soul session drummer and band leader in the 1960s and 1970s, to being sampled by scores of hip hop artists, Muhammad is, as described by WWOZ FM's George Ingmire, "on the Mount Rushmore of New Orleans drummers."

Ashlin-ParkerAshlin Parker and Trumpet Mafia
Thursday, October 23
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Born in Charlotte, NC, the New Orleans-based trumpeter and educator has performed with local jazz favorites like Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Delfeayo Marsalis' Uptown Jazz Orchestra, as well as popular R&B and pop artists such as Aretha Franklin and Anthony Hamilton. His Trumpet Mafia pairs him with several of the best of his fellow trumpeters.

davell_crawfordDavell Crawford
Thursday, November 13
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Acclaimed as the “Piano Prince of New Orleans,” Davell Crawford began playing at age 7 and has staked his claim amongst those musicians in the great New Orleans piano tradition. Drawing from a wide range of influences, from his deep gospel roots to jazz, rhythm and blues, and even country-western, the equally gifted vocalist and Big Easy Entertainment Award winner was described by writer John Sinclair as "one of the most incredibly talented musicians New Orleans has ever produced." My Gift to You, Crawford's latest CD, features guest appearances by Big Freedia and Dr. John. 

Spring 2014

"Women in Jazz" - co-sponsored by Newcomb College Institute

chelseabaratz2Chelsea Baratz
Thursday, March 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saxophonist Chelsea Baratz is a young band leader whose music follows in the footsteps of 1960’s soul jazz and the hard bop roots of her hometown of Pittsburgh. She's performed with artists such as The Roots, Soulive, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, DJ Logic, and Branford Marsalis, to name a few. She's also a current member of the Maurice Brown Effect.

YolandaWindsay2Yolanda Windsay and Kelly Love Jones
Thursday, April 3, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
As one of New Orleans' leading vocalists, Yolanda Windsay (pictured) regularly performs alongside her mother, the acclaimed Topsy Chapman, and her sister Jolynda Phillips in their vocal trio Solid Harmony, recently featured in the 2013 documentary Tradition Is a Temple: The Modern Masters of New Orleans. During her career, Windsay has shared the stage with legendary musicians such as Terence Blanchard, Betty Carter, Dr. John, Dizzy Gillespie, Leroy Jones, Max Roach, and many others. Kelly Love Jones is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who The Advocate described as "(embracing) the cultural richness of her native New Orleans in her unique mixture of reggae, soul and hip-hop."

TiaFuller2Tia Fuller
Thursday, April 10, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Touring and recording with superstar Beyoncé, and also as the assistant director of Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society, has put saxophonist Tia Fuller at the center of the pop music universe, reaching millions of listeners with her concise, beautifully crafted solos. On her own time, the 37-year-old is one the most important new instrumentalists in jazz, as a savvy bandleader, composer, and arranger who follows in the scorching footsteps of masters like Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, and Kenny Garrett. She’s racked up an imposing range of credits, including Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath, Gerald Wilson, and Nancy Wilson. Fuller is also a devoted educator, lecturing and presenting master classes at music institutions around the world.

Johnaye-Kendrick2Johnaye Kendrick
Thursday, April 17, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
A San Diego native and graduate of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, vocalist Johnaye Kendrick has worked with many contemporary jazz legends, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Christian McBride, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ellis Marsalis, and Brian Blade. Kendrick was also featured on the Grammy-winning 2009 album by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Book 1. When not touring with her own group, she serves as assistant professor of jazz voice at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.  Trumpeter Nicholas Payton raved, "Johnaye has the potential to be a vocalist of the highest order; the likes of which we have seen seldom since the grande dames of the golden era of jazz roamed about the earth."


Fall 2013

Mike-ClarkMike Clark
Thursday, October 24, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock’s group in the early 1970’s. He first became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock’s Thrust album, and Hancock once remarked, "the solo he played on Actual Proof is one of the best drum solos on any of my albums." Next to James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Clark's beats with The Headhunters (most notably on "God Make Me Funky") are some of the most sampled in hip hop. While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk”, Mike considers himself a jazz drummer, and in fact has become one of the most vital to sit behind a set. He's performed with jazz greats such as Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride, Bobby Hutcherson, Al Jarreau, and many more.

A Retrospective: The Music of the Wynton Marsalis Quintet
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Modern Piano Masters: The Music of Mulgrew Miller, George Duke, and Cedar Walton
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Spring 2013

George-PorterGeorge Porter Jr.
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Bassist George Porter Jr. is a legend of New Orleans music and one of the founding fathers of funk music. As a co-founding member of The Meters, the influential band recently nominated for induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, Porter recorded several albums in the 1960s and 1970s, toured with The Rolling Stones, performed with Paul McCartney, was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and has been sampled in countless hip hop recordings by artists from the Beastie Boys to Public Enemy. Still active as an in-demand studio musician and the bandleader of the Runnin’ Pardners, Porter continues to perform with the funky Meters and The Meter Men, among others, and at occasional, wildly popular original Meters reunion shows.

A Night of Big Bands
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Experience the big band sound of jazz and swing with the Tulane Big Band and The Next Generation Big Band, featuring arrangements by Jesse McBride and students in Tulane’s Jazz Studies program.

Fall 2012

Pinettes-brass-band-2The Original Pinettes Brass Band
Thursday, October 4, 7:00 p.m.

The Original Pinettes, the world’s first all women’s brass band, was founded in New Orleans in 1991 and performs in the “funky, modern style” of New Orleans brass band music, influenced by R&B and hip hop.  Led by snare drummer and original member Christie Jourdain, the band is a mainstay at New Orleans’ biggest festivals, including Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest, and has also been featured on HBO’s Treme.  

Kalamu2jpgKalamu ya Salaam
Thursday, October 25, 7:00 p.m.

Kalamu ya Salaam, a revered figure in New Orleans’ spoken word and literary communities,  combines poetry with jazz, blues, and other forms of music. In addition to writing several books of poetry, founding the NOMMO Literary Society, and leading local creative writers’ workshops and poetry performance ensembles, Salaam has served as an editor and contributor for a number of respected cultural and music publications.  His work includes the spoken word CD My Story, My Song (AFO Records).

WendellWendell Brunious
Thursday, November 8, 7:00 p.m.

Trumpeter/vocalist Wendell Brunious began playing and performing in New Orleans by the time he was a teenager.  Since then, he’s become of the city’s most revered jazz elders, and has led his own band, as well as performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and several other local modern, traditional, and brass band jazz artists.

Jazz-@-The-Rat_006New Orleans Afro-Cuban Connection
Thursday, November 29, 7:00 p.m.

Don't miss a special night of Latin jazz featuring an ensemble of New Orleans artists including Pat Casey, bass; Alexey Marti (pictured), percussion; Mike Watson, trombone; and other TBA special guests.



rexRex Gregory
Thursday, March 1, 7:00 p.m.

Since moving to New Orleans in 2002, saxophonist and composer Rex Gregory has performed with some of the city’s finest musicians, including Germaine Bazzle, Simon Lott, James Singleton, and many others. While he is a staple in the local jazz community, Gregory is equally comfortable expressing himself in other genres of music, much like the keyboard work he’s done for the rock band Bionica. He also recently released a CD of original compositions, An End to Oblivion.

stevieSteve McKie
Thursday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.

Steve McKie is one of the most influential forces in Philadelphia's rich, contemporary music scene. He has successfully made the transition from respected drummer, having shared the stage with Joss Stone,Common, Jazmine Sullivan, Robert Glasper, and many others, to pop and R&B producer for heavyweights such as Jill Scott, Estelle, John Legend and Bilal, while racking up scores of Gold records as he goes.


RoderickPaulin-smRoderick Paulin
Thursday, September 29, 7:00 p.m.

Saxophonist Roderick Paulin grew up in the New Orleans jazz tradition, beginning to study and play music while he was in the fourth grade. He soon became the youngest member of his father’s renowned group, the Doc Paulin Brass Band. In 1990, Kermit Ruffins invited Paulin to join the ReBirth Brass Band, a group that transformed traditional second-line and brass band music by incorporating urban, funk, hip-hop and other contemporary elements. He composed and arranged several tunes with ReBirth , and when the band toured with legendary James Brown saxophonist Maceo Parker, Paulin found his musical mentor. Since then, Paulin had led his own Big Easy Groovers and has worked with a range of pop and R&B artists from AfghanWhigs to Patti Labelle.

Spring 2010

Betty Shirley
February 25

Leah Chase
March 18

Troy Davis
March 25

Maurice Brown
April 22

Fall 2009

Bill Summers
October 29

Delfeayo Marsalis
November 19

Spring 2009

Clyde Kerr Jr.
February 4

Adonis Rose
February 18

The Professors of Pleasure
March 4

Harold Battiste
April 1

Stefon Harris
April 15

Fredrick Sanders
April 22

Tim Warfield
April 29

For more information about Jazz at the Rat, contact 504-865-5728 or

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000