Remembering Edward “Kidd” Jordan

Kidd Jordan teaching a group of students at the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music in 2008, courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive.


New Orleans, LA (April 7, 2023) – It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of a true legend, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, who left us today. All of us at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation and the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music join the global jazz community in expressing our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

Born on May 5, 1935, in Crowley, Louisiana, Jordan was a musical prodigy who started playing saxophone at a young age. He honed his skills in the vibrant music scene of New Orleans, where he became a prominent figure in the avant-garde jazz movement. His innovative approach to improvisation and his ability to blend different styles of music, including free jazz, bebop, and blues, earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated following.

In addition to his incredible jazz career, Jordan was also a dedicated educator. Jordan played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s signature music education program. Started in 1990 as a free after-school program, the Heritage School of Music faculty began teaching a handful of students on Thursday afternoons on the campus of Southern University at New Orleans. His passion for passing on the rich legacy of jazz to future generations was evident in his teachings, which emphasized creativity, freedom, and individual expression.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend, Kidd Jordan, a trailblazer who helped to guide the formation and development of the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music.  His contribution to the world jazz community is enormously significant,” said Don Marshall, Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, “He was a true advocate for music education, and he leaves an enduring legacy. Kidd has left an indelible imprint on our entire community forever and will be terribly missed.”

Rest in peace, Kidd Jordan. Your spirit will continue to inspire us, and your music will forever echo in our hearts. 


The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation invests proceeds from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell and additional funds that we raise for year-round programming in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.   Education programs include the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lectures, the Class Got Brass competition for school brass bands, a youth audio workshop program, youth vocal workshops, and more! Economic Development initiatives include the Community Partnership Grants, the Catapult Fund accelerator program and Sync Up entertainment industry workshops. Cultural enrichment programs include the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series and annual Foundation Festivals: the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival.  Importantly, these are free programs that the Jazz and Heritage Foundation has developed over many years to ensure that we give back to Louisiana. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation also owns radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM and the Jazz & Heritage Archive.  In late 2014, the Foundation opened the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center – an education and community facility named for the late Jazz Fest founder George Wein and his wife Joyce.  In March of 2020, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation established the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund – a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana musicians who were affected by the pandemic. In the last two years the Jazz & Heritage Foundation has been able to provide relief funds of more than $2 million dollars supporting musicians, music industry gig workers, Black Masking Indians and other indigenous cultural practitioners. To learn more about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, please visit us online at