LEAF Delta House Jazz Band

LEAF Schools & Streets is partnering with the Delta House to inspire & engage local youth through the world of Jazz. 

Program Overview

LEAF Delta Jazz is

Since 2011, the Jazz group has expanded and grown. Our community partner, Delta House Life Development, is so thrilled with the progress the kids have made. “The difference this program has made is beyond words” says Sheila Edwards, Delta House staffer and lead supporter. “These kids are more inspired to stay in school and they KNOW they can be successful- it’s all thanks to jazz and Mr. B.” Mr. B and Katie, his assistant, teach the youth three times a week to make the biggest impact and create the best chance to learn music skills. Some kids have only been coming for less than two months and others have been coming since it started. LEAF has made 100% IMPACT.

2015 Musical Journey to NOLA

???????????????????????????????How many young jazz artists get to be with the masters of jazz in Preservation Hall and play their instrument? The second bi-annual LEAF Delta Jazz Musical Journey to NOLA was extraordinary! Stepping beyond your comfort and community opens doors to the world and understanding.

The dedicated teaching artists, Gary Bradley and Katie Oaks, empower the young artists through the art of jazz; however, life skills, cultural competence, teamwork, and a safe nurturing environment create a holistic platform of arts education that complements the jazz. Over the years, we have watched the students grow in music along with their reading scores, behavior and self-esteem. Music works!

On the rainy morning of March 19th, the LEAF Delta Jazz band hit the road to New Orleans – the city of jazz. Pure excitement and anticipation floated through the air as we loaded vans with 11 young jazz musicians. Most of these students do not have access to jazz music traditions and have not travelled far beyond Asheville. The shared cultural connections to the African American communities in NOLA have the kids excited to learn more about their history. Together, we traveled down the jazzy road to experience the spirit of NOLA music and heritage culture.???????????????????????????????

2013 Jazzy New Orleans Trip

LSSJazzNolaStatuespIn 2013, the LEAF Delta Jazz Band embarked upon a journey to the heart of jazz music and cultural traditions, in the city of New Orleans, where jazz was born. The blossoming musicians spent spring break performing at the historic Congo Square Festival, sharpening their skills with a master class at Preservation Hall and later dancing to a live performance performed by their mentors. 

The LEAF Delta band opened the festival to a crowd of cheers and later witnessed the infamous Battle of the Bands, a second line competition of area middle and high school musicians judged by legendary jazz musicians, including Preservation Hall’s Ben Jaffe.

A bus tour of New Orleans led the jazz band to the House of Dance and Feathers in the Lower 9thWard, where they learned about Hurricane Katrina and its impact on the residents of New Orleans. Museum founder and Mardi Gras Indian, Ronald Lewis shared his story of his winning struggle to preserve the history and culture of New Orleans to an awe-stricken and appreciative crowd. 

Thanks to the amazing support from the LEAF community, The LEAF Delta Jazz Band has returned from their Spring Break trip to the Big Easy, where they had the AMAZING opportunity to learn from the Grammy Award winning Preservation Hall Jazz Band and perform at the historic Congo Square Festival!

Meet the LEAF Delta Jazz Band Teaching Artists


 Gary hails from the New England area where he began his music education and saxophone studies. He studied at Housatonic College and played R&B, top 40 and jazz in the New England area. Gary continued his education at LACC and in private study in Los Angeles. He has played with Ray Charles, Dolly Parton and James Ingram.

 “The discipline they get from music, they can always apply to their life, that’s my goal with all of them. Have some fun, learn some discipline.” – Gary Bradley


  LSSKatieOaksBOCDeltaJazzErinScholze (640x301)Katie has been playing various instruments and studying music for over 20 years.  She has a degree in music education and has a degree in music performance (specializing in the pipe organ), from Middle Tennessee State University. Katie’s music teaching experiences include private lessons on various instruments, preschool and early childhood music, general music grades kindergarten through high school, instrumental and vocal ensembles at the middle and high school levels, and directing school musicals!

“I have watched these kids grow together and now they are learning to love music together.” -Katie Oaks



Meet a Student

LSSDeltaJazzKaliqSaxMMSponsorPKaliq Moore has been coming since 2011 and has been empowered by his jazz classes. Once a shy kid who could not speak in front of others, he now solos with the band.   “It means the world to me,” Kaliq says of his experience with LEAF Delta Jazz. The experiences he has gotten through the LEAF classes and opportunities to perform have opened up his mind and world to music. He has visited professional recording studios, attended master class at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, and has recently got an internship with Moog Music!   He now sees himself as a young professional musician. LEAF looks forward to the day he headlines the LEAF stage with his own band!

LEAF Delta House Jazz Band Highlights

Check it out below!


In January, the LEAF Delta House Jazz Band headed down to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the Honda Battle of the Bands. The event was crated to “celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands and the unique academic experience offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).” Also, in August the group also was given the opportunity to headline the Goombay Festival in downtown Asheville.

Throughout the year, the LEAF Delta House Jazz Band received visits from 3 LEAF International programs, Bequia, Haiti & Tanzania. They were able to perform for one another and have an authentic and natural cultural exchange.


The young jazz artists take their seats across from the masters of Jazz in the historic rustic Preservation Hall, one of the icons of jazz across the world. The setting is intimate, dark, and you feel the decades of powerful jazz sets. The LEAF Delta Jazz Band takes the stage by showing Preservation hall all that they have learned about jazz over the past year. We were all grateful for the magical musical journey that we were experiencing. The kids are still jazzing from their music workshop experience, and the masters reminded them “Don’t stop playing!”


LEAF Delta Jazz partners with the UNCA Jazz Band to learn about the local music program at UNCA and hear young adult mentors play jazz. LEAF Delta Jazz Band partners with the LEAF Delta Drummers and other Delta House youth to record their own song in honor of the Delta House. LEAF Delta Jazz Band members visit Echo Mountain recording studio and sit in on a band recording their own album.

LEAF Delta Jazz play at several events such as LAAFF, LEAF Festivals, and a fundraiser for Open Doors.


The LEAF Delta Jazz Program partners with 5 Walnut and plays several Wednesdays at this local Wine Bar to raise funds and awareness for their upcoming field trip to New Orleans. Matt Logan, owner of 5 Walnut, commits to raising funds for the band and donates his own saxophone to a LEAF Delta Jazz player. Students Khaliq Moore and Matt Young are awarded instrument ownership due to their dedication and commitment of both practice and mastery.

March 2013

The LEAF Delta Jazz Band takes a field trip to New Orleans! The band plays an opening set at the Congo Square Festival, learns the history and culture of New Orleans and attends a master class at the Preservation Hall.

Summer 2013

Summer classes are held to continue the skills learned by the youth, and in the Fall of 2013, the band starts meeting three times a week, thanks to the funding of the Hanes Grant.


The LEAF Delta Jazz Program opens for The Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the May LEAF Festival. Connecting with Ben Jaffe, the band is invited to New Orleans to take a master class with the band. 13 Youth are involved in the program.


LEAF Klondyke Jazz Program starts in the spring in Klondyke Housing Center with teaching artist, Gary Bradley, and mentor Logan Murray. Meeting once a week, up to 11 youth of varying ages are involved in this pilot program funded by the Dan Lucas Memorial Fund.

Starting in the Fall of 2011, the LEAF Jazz Program with Gary Bradley and Logan Murray relocates to Delta House and becomes LEAF Delta Jazz. The Delta House Life Development Corp is a non-profit after school program located on S. French Broad. This valuable community partnership with Delta House allows for consistent attendance and an increase in the number of classes to twice a week. This program also offers homework assistance and other enrichment opportunities.



 Thank You!    

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama

LEAF would also like to extend a very special thank you to our “Cultural Concierges”, Bill Taylor and The Real New Orleans for taking extra special care of us while showing us around in New Orleans! YOU helped us reach our fundraising goal! LEAF Delta Jazz Band went to New Orleans for Spring Break! Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. A very special thank you to 5 Walnut Wine BarThe Laurel of Asheville,  The Asheville Citizen-Times, and the amazing LEAF community. 

 Thank You!  Gracias! Merci!  

Gena Crow, Tommy George, Danielle D Stiles, Jim Lauzon, Kuumba Zuwena, Ami Worthen, Elizabeth McDonough, Erica Bell, Lael Gray, Jennifer Griffin, Richard Olejniczak, Jodi Rhoden, Kate Henry, Jody Whitehurst, Ashley Cooper, Laura Grantmyre, Mark Forgas, Stacey Bailey, Russ Wheelock, Nancy Cain, Mary Kenemer, Scott Dedman, Lee and Wendy Mulcrone, Sarah Nie, John Cram, Hedy Fischer, Sherrye & Anthony Coggiola, Robert Todd, Wren London, Dini & Chuck Pickering, and everyone else who showed their support!



If you would like to register your child for the LEAF Delta Jazz Band program, please contact Schree Chavdarov at schree@theLEAF.org