Virtual Visits

Rural Roots Of Jazz

The River Road African American Museum is missing all of our wonderful visitors and friends. So we’ve decided to the bring the RRAAM to you virtually! Our newest exhibit is the Rural Roots of Jazz, and explores all the talented musicians that came from the River Parishes and the Donaldsonville area.

To say that Don Vappie has had a busy musical career would be an understatement. He has several overlapping careers as a banjoist, guitarist, bassist, singer, educator, lecturer, record and event producer, and expert not only about New Orleans jazz but its place and importance in the contemporary music scene.

Detroit-born Bill Summers is a Billboard Music Award winner and multi-Grammy Award nominee who has grown roots in New Orleans. In New Orleans, he is Baba Bill. He is an elder and philanthropist. The children of New Orleans benefit from his generosity, wisdom and love of service.

Leo Nocentelli is an original member of the award-winning band The Meters. The group recorded a string of instrumental hits beginning in the 1960s, many written by Leo.

Rural Roots Of Music

We know you can’t come to the River Road African American Museum right now, so we are bringing the RRAAM to you virtually with our new virtual Rural Roots of Music exhibit! 

We dedicate this to all of the mothers and grandmothers who combed our hair and pressed our dresses, shirts and pants to make sure we made it to church and Sunday School on time.

Music and dance are the ultimate expressions of freedom. Here we share a little bit of both from the levee top of Donaldsonville. Breathe and dance with Kai Knight of The Silhouettes.




Special thanks to Pastor Marshall Cooper for playing the saxophone and sharing his family history from the sugarcane fields of St. James Parish.


406 Charles Street

Donaldsonville, LA 70346

Museum Hours

All tours are by appointment only.

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