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Hot Jazz, Cool Teacher: How One New Orleans Man Fosters Greatness

Sam Venable proudly shows off his marching band uniforms at Langston Hughes Academy in New Orleans.
LA Johnson/NPR
Sam Venable proudly shows off his marching band uniforms at Langston Hughes Academy in New Orleans.

Peanut butter and jelly. Abbott and Costello. New Orleans and marching bands.

Some things are inseparable.

The city best known for hot jazz is a wellspring of talented musicians. Where do they all come from? Oftentimes it's great teachers — like Sam Venable, the band director at Langston Hughes Academy, a middle school on Trafalgar Street.

Hear the story of great teaching at the top of the page. You can also hear this clip of Venable playing at his grandmother's 90th birthday:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sam Venable plays the trombone

Sami Yenigun
Sami Yenigun is the Executive Producer of NPR's All Things Considered and the Consider This podcast. Yenigun works with hosts, editors, and producers to plan and execute the editorial vision of NPR's flagship afternoon newsmagazine and evening podcast. He comes to this role after serving as a Supervising Editor on All Things Considered, where he helped launch Consider This and oversaw the growth of the newsmagazine on new platforms.