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.


Jazz Fest Minutes
12:09 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Making Connections With Multi-Instrumentalist Nicholas Payton

Trumpeter, vocalist and keyboard player Nicholas Payton.

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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
11:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: 'One Mo’ Time' With Actor Vernel Bagneris

Vernel Bagneris

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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
7:06 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Lessons Learned With Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis

Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis.

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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
1:44 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Saxophonist And Astral Project Founder Tony Dagradi

Saxophonist Tony Dagradi.

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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
12:32 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Banjoman Don Vappie

Don Vappie.

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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
4:27 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri

Pianist, composer and bandleader Eddie Palmieri.
Credit 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.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
2:08 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Listening And Learning With Germaine Bazzle

New Orleans jazz singer Germaine Bazzle.
Credit 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.”

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Trumpeter And Vocalist Gregg Stafford

Trumpeter and vocalist Gregg Stafford.

Great New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Gregg Stafford spent much of his childhood in the Central City neighborhood. He saw lots of parades, often sang in church, and developed a real love of music.

When it came time for high school, Stafford had the chance to join the school band — if his mother approved. So he told her, “I don’t have an elective at the moment, so the band instructor asked me, would I be interested in music? ‘Oh no, no, no, no; I don’t have no money to pay for no horn, so you can just scratch that,’” she told him.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Hitting The High Notes With Saxophonist Joshua Redman

Saxophonist Joshua Redman.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman grew up in Berkeley, California, a very high achiever academically who turned to music for fun.

“I loved music, and I loved listening to it and I loved playing it, but I wasn’t serious about it. Music was kind of an escape, it was kind of a relief for me from the more rigorous aspects, the more studious aspects, of academics,” Redman says. “That was kind of how I let myself go and have fun.”

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Jazz Fest Minutes
5:36 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Pianist And Composer George Cables

Pianist and composer George Cables.
Credit Courtesy of the artist

George Cables is a superb pianist, an outstanding composer with a real gift for melody. He was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens. He started piano in grade school, and liked taking traditional lessons and studying classical music right away.

“I did like the piano. I had a crush on my piano teacher,” he said.

Cables studied classical piano at the Manhattan High School for the Performing Arts, and found a way to incorporate jazz into his afternoon commute home.

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