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.

To see a complete playlist for the May 3, 2013 Jazz New Orleans with Fred Kasten celebration of Jazz Fest 2013 - please click here

For a complete playlist of the May 3, 2013 Jazz New Orleans with Fred Kasten, celebrating Jazz Fest 2013, please click here.

To see a complete playlist of the April 26, 2013 Jazz New Orleans with Fred Kasten - please click here

Click here to see complete playlist for the April 26, 2013 Jazz New Orleans please click here.

Singer-songwriter Eric Lindell’s music has a soulful quality that is redolent of New Orleans. But he grew up in Sonoma County, California.

Nicholas Payton is one brilliant musician. He plays just about everything on the bandstand very well. He’s best known for his trumpet work but is also a dynamic keyboard player, and even manages to play superbly on both at the same time.

In recent years Payton has added another tool to his kit: singing.

The Show “One Mo’ Time” went from humble beginnings as a homemade New Orleans labor of love with a single scheduled performance to a worldwide theatrical sensation that ran for years. Its creator, New Orleans actor Vernel Bagneris, has loved the idea of putting on a show from way back.

“Cousins of mine still laugh at the fact that they used to come over and I’d put on a show for them and play a little accordion and single a little bit with the few chords I knew on a piano and do plays and make them all do parts,” Bagneris remembers.

Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis got a good lesson and lasting influence out of a teenage attempt to hornswoggle a new trombone from older brother Wynton. The lesson and the influence came in the form of a recording by trombone great J.J. Johnson.

Saxophonist and Astral Project founder Tony Dagradi grew up in Summit, New Jersey. By high school he knew what he wanted to do: play jazz.

“It was almost as if I didn’t have a choice,” he says. “I didn’t think about, well, how much money am I going to make or how do I get a gig. I was just — all I wanted to do was play.”

After a couple of years at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Dagradi entered an intense period of jazz rehearsal and listening.

Don Vappie grew up in New Orleans with a yen for music he just couldn’t explain.

“My earliest memory, it must have been second grade, I always wanted to be a musician,” Vappie says. “I have no idea why, but that’s what I wanted to do.”

Unless it was those records.

Juan Cruz /

National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri is a great pianist, composer and bandleader. However, in his early teens Palmieri developed a yen to play timbales in his piano-playing older brother’s band.

Elliott Hammer / Flickr

Great New Orleans jazz singer Germaine Bazzle’s formal music education began at the Xavier Junior School of Music under the tutelage of the accomplished and very demanding Sister Mary Latitia.

“She is the one, when you hear that little sound that I make, she is the one that demonstrated that to the orchestra when we were playing as she wanted something done,” Bazzle explained. “She wanted to show the trumpets or trombones, the brass people, how to do a certain thing. And when I started doing gigs I found myself doing that.”