River City Jazz Masters

2017-2018 Lineup


It all started when…

Established in 2007 in collaboration with the River City Jazz Coalition, River City Jazz Masters is an annual series presented by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge featuring some of the finest jazz artists performing on national and international stages. In addition to the performances, the series has a deep commitment to educational programs K-12 and college students with outreach engagement activities, and free school performance for students of all ages and abilities.

In the past decade, the River City Jazz Masters has hosted 19 Grammy Winning Artists, 8 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters, along with National Medal of the Arts winners, MacArthur Genius Fellows, Latin Grammy, Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominees, NAACP Image Award winners and one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People.

The concerts take place in the 325-seat Manship Theatre, an intimate venue modeled on European opera houses.  River City Jazz Masters and Listening Room tickets are available at manshiptheatre.org.

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The Series is made possible through the support of corporate and private donors who understand that quality music performance, along with educational programs tied to it, energizes our downtown area, brings people of diverse backgrounds together, and inspires excellence in the arts locally as well as regionally.  Initial supporters like John and Virginia Noland, The Josef Sternberg Foundation, The McMains Foundation, Laura and Clark Boyce, Tim and Stacia Hardy, Dr. Albert and Roberta Sam, Dr. Greg Ward, and Dr. Brian and Maria Despinasse, along with corporate sponsors including Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, Entergy, Turner Industries, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelers, Iberia Bank, Chase Bank, Capital One, Lamar Advertising, Cox Communications, 225, and the Louisiana Lottery, were and remain incredibly generous.  The Office of the Mayor-President, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Visit Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Metro Council, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Office of the Lt. Governor, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Legislative Delegation were vital in the beginning and remain life lines of support as future series are planned. The River City Jazz Masters Series was founded by Derek E. Gordon and is a collaboration with the River City Jazz Coalition whose members include: Verge and Cheri Ausberry, C.J. Blache and Sherri McConnell, Maria and Brian Despinasse II, Leo and Gwendolyn Hamilton, Tim and Stacia Hardy, Darrell Hunt, Dr. Antoine Keller and Allison Chauvin, Cornelius and Karen Lewis, Drs. Jamel and Nicolette Martin, Ronald and Belinda Mason, The John and Virginia Noland Fund, Albert and Roberta Sam and The Josef Sternberg Memorial Fund.

Supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.