Peter Varnado, Tulane University

Peter Varnado

Director of Applied Music, Adjunct Professor, Tutor
Jazz Drumming Instructor


B.A. Jazz Studies - University of New Orleans
M.A. Jazz Studies - University of New Orleans


Peter Varnado is an experienced musician and educator based in New Orleans. Born and raised in the city, he has a deep understanding and appreciation for the diverse musical styles that have emerged from the region. Peter attended NOCCA and The University of New Orleans, graduating with a Masters degree. While pursing an education, Peter honed his skills across various genres, including jazz, blues, r&b, gospel, and funk. He is a sought-after drummer in the New Orleans music scene; performing regularly at local venues and festivals with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Ellis Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, and The Jordan Family among others. As a musician and educator, Peter has traveled across the United States, Europe, and South Africa performing, giving lessons, and master classes. He is currently the BAM Director of Applied Music at Tulane University with teaching experience for over 10 years.


  • Gave a master class to french drum students in France in 2010.
  • Gave a master class to African drum students in Johannesburg in 2014.
  • Performed in Brazil with Delfeayo Marsalis.
  • Recorded on a total of 8 Albums.
  • Performed/performs with Ellis Marsalis, Carl Leblanc, Stephanie Jordan, Marlon Jordan, Delfeayo Marsalis, Sasha Masakowski, Loose Willis, Brent Rose, Kinfolk Brass Band, Apple Tree, etc.
  • Put on special Christmas performance for parents.
  • Taught in the school system 3 years going on 4.