NEW ORLEANS-Yamaha announced that it has contributed seven drum sets to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s new education and community facility, the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. The Center is expected to offer a major boost to music, music education, culture and the economy in the city of New Orleans.

Yamaha, which contributed the drum sets that will be used by music students at the $9 million center, congratulated the foundation on the grand opening of new facility marked by the ribbon cutting on Dec. 11 and youth concerts and other events this past weekend.

Yamaha has been the official drum sponsor of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival since 1985. Each year, Yamaha and staff from Ray Fransen’s Drum Center in Kenner, Louisiana, provide drums, related equipment and service for the scores of performers on the dozens of stages at the festival, which is considered among the premier live jazz events in the world.

“These drums will be eagerly used by our students–we can’t wait for them to have a chance to learn on these beautiful drums,” said Don Marshall, executive director, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

In 2008, the foundation purchased the historic buildings that this year were renovated into the center, which will serve as the permanent home of foundation’s Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music. Previously, that free program for young musicians founded 14 years ago was housed on various university campuses. Now, the school will occupy the new center’s seven classrooms and its 200-seat performance space, all fully wired and equipped for recording and Internet connectivity.

The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center will also host music events and cultural programs presented by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation and other arts and community organizations from throughout the New Orleans region.

Owned by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that runs Jazz Fest, the new center is located on the edge of the famed Tremé section of the city.
It is named to honor George Wein, the founder of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and his late wife and business partner, Joyce.

“The fact that the foundation selected Yamaha drums when they were choosing the instruments for this incredible new center says a lot not only about the quality of our drums, but also the foundation’s commitment to providing young musicians with the best possible equipment, education and opportunities,” said Steven Fisher, marketing manager, Yamaha Drums. “Much like the Jazz Fest itself, this new center will help carry on the wonderful legacy of music that’s at the heart of New Orleans.”

For more information on the foundation or its new center, visit To learn more about Yamaha drums, please visit