Hart is a John F. Kennedy High School graduate. He plays trombone. He majored in music education at the University of New Orleans and studied performance there under Ellis Marsalis. He has worked as a music teacher at KIPP Believe College Prep since Hurricane Katrina. He earned a KIPP Excellence in Teaching honor in 2010 . He initially began working on Treme as a music coach for actors Rob Brown and Wendell Pierce. His background made his character a natural fit.