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Herlin Riley
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week, we highlight Jazz Fest performers from yesterday and today. Host Nick Spitzer spoke with New Orleans jazz drummer Herlin Riley at his drum kit about playing with pianist Ahmad Jamal, Wynton Marsalis, and growing up in a musical family in the Lower Ninth Ward.

HR: My uncles had the Lastie Brothers Combo, and they would rehearse at my grandmother’s house - I was a baby, they would actually wheel my crib into the room where they were rehearsing -

mississippiriverdelta.org

Governor John Bel Edwards recently declared coastal land loss a "State of Emergency." Officials hope this will speed up federal approval of big coastal restoration projects -- like planned river diversions south of New Orleans.

 

Though good for the coast, big land-building projects can have unintended consequences -- like changing where certain species live. So if the feds agree, instead of a lengthy environmental review process the state could get leeway and start building earlier.

 

Boiled seafood is a tradition in Louisiana with many of its own rituals.
Ian McNulty / WWNO

Making a good run at a crawfish boil is a two-fisted effort that might even require some juggling. There's the twisting, pinching and peeling, the sorting and rummaging for sides and the concurrent demands of beverage management. 

That also makes the crawfish boil one of the increasingly rare aspects of modern life that remains cell phone free.

Flickr/Washington State House Republicans's photostream (CC BY-ND 2.0)

On Monday, Congress unveiled a spending bill that would fund the federal government through September. It includes $9 million for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana.

 

In an effort to help the state fight coastal land loss, the Army Corps of Engineers sometimes uses the mud it dredges from from navigation channels and the Mississippi River to rebuild marshes. It’s the Corps’ job to keep the river passable, so in these cases it reuses the material that it digs up.

Matt Hauer / Nature Climate Change

Rising seas and sinking land are forcing many along Louisiana’s coast to make hard decisions. Stay put, or move inland to safety. But it’s not just a problem here, coastal residents across the nation are facing the same challenges.

A study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that millions will move inland in coming years.

WWNO's Tegan Wendland talked with Matt Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia, about how this will change life in coastal areas - and create new challenges for the communities where those people will move. 

Elizabeth Miller

Jazz historian John McCusker captures moments, whether it's through his photography, his writing, or his storytelling. As the creator and guide of the Cradle of Jazz Tour, John takes people on New Orleans tours that link together specific locations with the vanguards, players, keepers, and lovers of jazz music. John joined NolaVie's Kelley Crawford in the studio to share some legends from the Jazz Age.  

Visit NolaVie's website for a related article written by Kelley Crawford.  

The Arts District’s annual arts stroll, Jammin’ On Julia kicks off on Saturday with new exhibitions, music and food. We talk with Ginette Bone, president of the Arts District New Orleans Association.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

A bill that provides for the conservation of public military memorials passed a state house committee this morning. The simple language of House Bill 71 doesn’t mention the word ‘confederate’, but it has everything to do with preserving the three remaining monuments that are slated for removal. Testimonies for and against State representative Thomas Carmody’s bill were directly related to the status of the PT Beauregard, Robert E Lee, and Jefferson Davis statues.

This week on Inside the Arts, the Broadway hit musical HAMILTON is heading to the Saenger.  Got tickets? We talk with Saenger general manager David Skinner.

Then, it's Jazz Fest weekend 2.  We explore an architectural trade in the Louisiana Folklife Village. We catch up with Swiss woodworker Heinz Gautschi.

And, the UNO Playwrights Festival continues its run in the Marigny. Festival coordinator Bryon Reiger and UNO playwriting assistant professor Justin Maxwell stop by for a chat.

Click here for the latest episodes of Inside the Arts.

U.S. Department of the Interior

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week calling for more oil and gas drilling. But the final call is up to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

 

On Monday, the secretary endorsed Trump’s plan -- and then some.

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