The mission of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra is to promote a greater appreciation for jazz and its New Orleans’ rooted traditions through world-class performance, artistic excellence, education and community.
Featuring up to 18 accomplished musicians, the Uptown Jazz Orchestra sets the global standard for celebrating jazz in its authentic musical form, inspiring the next generation of jazz musicians and promoting a culture of diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the arts.
In 2000, Grammy award-winning trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis formed the Uptown Music Theatre (UMT), a non-profit organization that empowers youth through educational programming and musical theatre training. Then in 2008, Marsalis formed its sister organization under the same 501c3 corporation, the Uptown Jazz Orchestra (UJO). The two organizations enjoy a symbiotic relationship – UJO musicians offer a rich talent pool from which to draw instructors for UMT and UMT musicians are likewise often guest performers for the UJO.
UJO’s premiere children’s program, Swinging with the Cool School, has provided an opportunity for thousands of students across the nation to learn about the true original art form of jazz through its African-American history, stories and sounds.