Stuart Coles Teaches Music and All That Jazz at Great Hearts Harveston

Great Hearts Harveston September 12, 2023

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, in hallway.

Stuart Coles is the music teacher for Great Hearts Harveston, the first Great Hearts academy to open its doors in Louisiana, serving grades K-7 in Baton Rouge. “I enjoy sharing my love for music and helping students realize that everyone is capable of being a musician,” said Coles. Since moving to Louisiana from Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he grew up, he has been soaking up the unique musical culture of the south as a professional New Orleans jazz musician.

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing in a jazz band.


He moved to New Orleans in 2015 to attend the University of New Orleans, where he earned his Master of Music degree. Upright and electric bass are his primary instruments. “I can play many other instruments, but only claim the upright and electric bass as I am fluent on those two,” he said. Coles played professionally full time until the pandemic shut down music venues in 2020.

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing in a jazz band.

At that point I joined the Army National Guard, went to [Officer Candidate School] to commission as an officer.” He later attended the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC), a school for Army Infantry Offices.

Coles continued playing professionally and said he has played almost every club and festival in New Orleans. Most notably: Snug Harbor, Hotel Montelione, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Jazz Playhouse, Spotted Cat, the New Orleans Jazz Market, and the House of Blues. Outside of Louisiana, he has played at the West Virginia All That Jazz and Wine Festival and did a 15-day tour in China with the University of Arkansas at Monticello Big Band.

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing in a jazz band.


He has played with the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Adonis Rose, the Grammy Award winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Cyrille Aimee, Jamison Ross, Victor Atkins, and the New Orleans Jump Hounds, of which he is a founding member. Coles has also played with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Among his many musical achievements, he was featured on an episode of NCIS New Orleans. “I played upright bass with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, who were dressed as the navy commodores [for the episode]. We played one of Delfeayo Marsalis’s compositions at the end of the episode at the New Orleans Warf.”

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing in an episode of NCIS New Orleans.

Coles began teaching in Baton Rouge in 2021. When he learned about Great Hearts Harveston coming to the East Baton Rouge community, he was intrigued by the mission of providing a quality education for all. “I’m excited to see a quality education being brought to an area that desperately needs it,” he said. “Revitalizing public education in south Louisiana would do wonders for the community and I believe that Great Hearts will be the catalyst for that movement.”

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing in a jazz band.

Head of School Sam Heisman said, “The opportunity for learning begins with our carefully selected teachers, who were chosen for their content expertise and intellectual and moral awareness. Great Hearts teachers strive to educate scholars to desire what is True, Good, and Beautiful, and encourage the community to participate in and bring such ideals into reality.” Coles’ impressive professional background and love for music embodies that declaration.

Stuart Coles, music teacher at Great Hearts Harveston, playing a guitar in hallway.

Mr. Coles and the rest of the Harveston faculty would like to invite you to tour Great Hearts Harveston to see how this amazing educational experience is available for every student. During your tour, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the curriculum in action and receive an overview of the application process. You’ll also learn about enrichment programs, athletics, and more. Sign up at The school is only accepting applications for the 23-24 school year through September 22nd, 2023. Submit your application today at

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