Fred Kasten

Announcer & Producer

Fred is an independent contributing radio producer/host at WWNO. After working at WWNO for over 20 years as an on-air talent, producer and program director, Fred retired from full-time work in May of 2007. Fred is a native of Mobile, Alabama, a graduate of the University of Alabama, and a long-time resident of New Orleans.

In addition to his work at WWNO, Fred develops independent audio projects from a home studio, producing radio features, commercials and podcasts. Fred also does marketing and media consulting for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Clarinetist and saxophonist Victor Goines is a New Orleans native of great musical accomplishment. A longtime member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, he also fronts his own quartet and quintet, and these days runs the Jazz Studies program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Victor Goines plays Jazz Fest with his outstanding quartet Sunday, April 29th.

Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti's youngest son – saxophonist and singer Seun Kuti – was just 15 when he took over the Egypt 80 band after his father's death in 1997.  After struggling for a few years Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 are again touring the world, performing at important festivals and major venues.  They play Jazz Fest Friday, April 27th.

Carolina Chocolate Drops singer and banjoist Rhiannon Giddens was preparing for a career in opera when she discovered the rich tradition of African-American string band music and performance in the Piedmont region. She completely changed directions, and co-founded the now Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Carolina Chocolate Drops play Jazz Fest Saturday, April 28th.

New Orleans clarinetist Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Jazz Band deliver authentic New Orleans jazz with an irresistible blend of passion, verve, experience and expertise.  They play Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 28th.

Poncho Sanchez is one of the world's greatest conga players — and has led his own band now for 32 years. Sanchez and his band — featuring special guest Terence Blanchard — play Jazz Fest on Friday, April 27th.

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten, the acclaimed new biography of New Orleans music legend and icon Ernie K-Doe by writer, producer, folklorist  and drummer Ben Sandmel: Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans.

Marc Pagani

DJ Soul Sister — a.k.a. Melissa Weber — spins her enticing brand of "Rare Groove" from the Congo Square stage at Jazz Fest Saturday, April 28th.

Dianne Reeves is one of the world's finest jazz singers, and through the years she has hired a lot of New Orleans musicians for her bands — including Herlin Riley, Chris Severin, David Torkanowsky — and these days, pianist Peter Martin and bassist Reginald Veal, who will be featured in her quintet at Jazz Fest.

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten: critically-acclaimed art writer Philip Palmedo's lavishly illustrated new biography of New Orleans sculptor Lin Emery — titled simply Lin Emery...

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten, part three of our three-part series featuring writers who are appearing at this year's Tennessee Williams Festival. Today we're spotlighting DeLisle, Mississippi writer Jesmyn Ward, author of the 2011 National Book Award winning novel Salvage the Bones.

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