. Brass Tacks - New Orleans Musicians' Clinic

Brass Tacks


A collaborative initiative of brass band advocacy, stabilization and neighborhood development


Brass Tacks was created by the New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation in collaboration with musicians’ advocacy non-profits dedicated to educating and empowering our cultural ambassadors.

There is a vital need for financial stability for members of New Orleans’ world-renowned brass bands. As these musicians bring share our music with audiences all over the world, they continue to struggle in poverty and debt at home. BRASS TACKS is a pilot program targeting two long-standing brass bands in need of “financial fitness” by providing individual consultation, mentorship and social services to ensure stability of the brass band culture.

The Brass Tacks program has developed a three (3) phase program with the end goal of financial sustainability for the musician participants and the bands they represent.




The end goal is to stimulate financial sustainability for our musical ambassadors. To do so, brass band members must learn to think of their craft in terms of small business development. Specific programmatic goals include:

  1. Support physical and emotional stability for members of established brass bands.
  2. Establish a viable model for financial stability for a targeted group of some of New Orleans’ most iconic cultural workers.
  3. Develop a unique partnership that encourages community mentorship, individual responsibility and professional development while enhancing the status of the participants as cultural ambassadors.




Program Eligibility:

· Must be a compliant patient of the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic
· Must be performing together for 7 + years
· Must sign an agreement contract for program participation and agree to complete the financial fitness course within 12 months of the start date.

Collaborative Partners:


Daily Beast’s Jason Berry provides a glimpse into the current state of New Orleans’ Brass Band culture. His recent article Can New Orleans Save Its Brass Bands? focuses on Liberty Brass Band leader Dr. Michael White’s partnership with Smithsonian Folkways and their 2014 album New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the CityThe album offers listeners a chance to experience the evolution of this unique New Orleans musical tradition by juxtaposing the sounds of three generations of brass bands.



For more information contact Office@nomaf.org  or call (504) 415- 3514.


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