In 2007 the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, in collaboration with the River City Jazz Coalition, invited the world’s finest jazz players to make music in Baton Rouge. 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, 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.

This season will include a range of artists from Traditional Jazz to young musicians to Latin to cutting edge artistry in the genre.  Look for Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenadors to open the season.  The series will continue with Manuel Valera and the New Cuban Express, the Clayton Brothers Quintet, Dianne Reeves with the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Robert Glasper Experiment. Lastly, thanks to the vision and generosity of the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation, The Listening Room Series will have 12-year old genius Joey Alexander as its headliner.

The concerts take place in the 325-seat Manship Theatre, an acoustically superior venue modeled on European opera houses. Tickets are priced at $25-$45 to be affordable to a variety of audiences.  To get your tickets visit the Manship Theatre website at www.manshiptheatre.org, with the exception of Dianne Reeves at the River Center Theatre. To reserve your tickets for Dianne Reeves, contact the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, (225) 344-8558.

Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders
September 28, 2016

Dedicated to contemporary performance and recording of classic jazz and Creole compositions, Don Vappie’s Creole Jazz Serenaders” provide today’s audiences with a glimpse of “the real spirit of early jazz,” a period when jazz was the “pop” music of the time.

More information about Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders

Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express
November 10, 2016

Based in New York City, Grammy nominated artist, pianist and composer Manuel Valera was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Since arriving in NYC, he has become well known in the NYC modern jazz scene, garnering national reviews and lending his talents as a pianist and composer to such notable artist as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Dafnis Prieto, Jeff “Tain” Watts, John Benitez, Samuel Torres, Joel Frahm, Yosvany Terry among many others.

More information about Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express

Clayton Brothers Quintet
February 15, 2017

John and Jeff Clayton prove conclusively, that while blood may be thicker than water, it can also carry an unimpeded flow of pure creativity. Their Grammy© nominated quintet The Clayton Brothers, was originally founded in 1977, and while their paths would sometimes diverge, the brothers continued to share a common musical vision that would draw them back together.

More information about Clayton Brothers Quintet

Dianne Reeves Featuring the Baton Rouge Symphony*
March 11, 2017

Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Dianne has received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album and an honorary doctorate of music from Julliard. Dianne’s magical, timeless voice, exceptional personality and the sheer force of her performance mark her as a captivating world-class artist.


*To reserve your tickets for Dianne Reeves, contact Jessica Ottaviano, Director of Development at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, (225) 344-8558 ext. 226.

More information about Dianne Reeves

Robert Glasper Experiment
April 26, 2017

Breakthrough success can often be a tough act to follow. But with a little help from some notable friends, Robert Glasper Experiment is set to up the ante with the follow-up to his successful GRAMMY-winning album Black Radio.

More information about Robert Glasper Experiment

Special Thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters!

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.


427 Laurel Street
Baton Rouge, La 70801

Hours of Operation
9AM- 5PM

Created By: dezinsINTERACTIVE

Submit a Contact Request

[powr-contact-form id="Arts Council"]

Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The Arts Council is also supported by the Irene W & C.B. Pennington Foundation © Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. 2015. All Rights Reserved.