Episode 8: The Roots of Music

The idea was simple enough: help kids out by offering them some structure, food, and academic support through an afterschool music program. Teach em’ how to play in a brass band and you’ll keep them out of trouble for a few hours.

Derrick Tabb and Roots of Music – Top New Orleans Brands

Bringing Rebirth to the kids of New Orleans

Derrick Tab, snare player for the Rebirth Brass Band, didn’t know what he was getting into when founded The Roots of Music in 2008.

The idea was simple enough: help kids out by offering them some structure, food, and academic support through an afterschool music program. Teach em’ how to play in a brass band and you’ll keep them out of trouble for a few hours.

Before the first class even got started, Derrick realized his idea was going to be bigger than he imagined as 42 kids showed up for what was supposed to be a class of 19. By the third week, The Roots of Music had over 100 kids without a single flyer printed.

As the kids flocked and flourished, Derrick began to see changes in them. He would run into former students on the street and hear stories of lives on far different courses than when they had come to the organization.

As someone who had grown up in the Treme, Derrick knew how a rough neighborhood could seal your fate. He also knew the power that music had to change that, and with the Roots of Music, he was seeing it happen right in front of him.

Derrick may be forgiven if he put his organization’s needs before his professional band. In a city that worships through the swinging songs of brass bands, Rebirth is a holy institution. And beyond that, these guys won a Grammy, it’s not some amateur outfit that may or may not make it.

When students show up from 4-7 every weekday, all year long, Derrick is there. Even if it means missing practices and gigs with Rebirth – an absence the band has been totally understanding about.

Check out the work Derrick and The Roots of Music are doing in the video below, and donate if you feel compelled. You could do a lot worse than to give to an organization led by a man with a heart of gold. Or better yet, brass. 

 

And if you’ve missed any of our past Favorite NOLA Brands blogs, find out what other brands are doing big things in the Big Easy: