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.

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The Sound of Books
1:36 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

"Who Was Dracula?" — A New Investigation By Acclaimed Historian Jim Steinmeyer

An interview with the author.

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten, the new book by acclaimed stage and magic historian Jim Steinmeyer: Who Was Dracula? Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
11:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: A Musical Journey With George Duke

George Duke, one of the most sought-after and accomplished players and producers in music.
Credit georgeduke.com

George Duke is one of the most sought-after and accomplished players and producers in music. He grew up in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
4:18 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Topsy Chapman And Solid Harmony

Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony
Credit topsychapman.com

Topsy Chapman is one of New Orleans’ most engaging and soulful singers. Her mix of gospel, blues, traditional jazz and swing proves both captivating and uplifting. And, when Topsy Chapman blends her fine voice with those of her daughters Jolynda Phillips and Yolanda Windsay in the vocal trio Solid Harmony, it’s magic.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
1:10 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Wayne Shorter — Connecting With The Beat

Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter.
Credit Robert Ascroft

Wayne Shorter is one of the top saxophonists and composers in jazz. It was, strangely enough, getting caught at 15 years old playing hooky from school that put him on a path into music. His punishment: enrollment in the music theory course at his Newark, NJ arts high school.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: The Legendary Del McCoury

Del McCoury and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will play Saturday, Jazz Fest May 5.

Bluegrass Hall of Famer Del McCoury’s folks came from the mountains of western North Carolina, but he grew up on a farm in York County, Pennsylvania, less than an hour’s drive from Baltimore.

“My dad and my older brother listened to the Grand Ol’ Opry every Saturday night,” McCoury said. It was before television, in the middle- to late-1940s.

“At a young age I heard Earl Scruggs, and that’s what got me into music.”

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The Sound of Books
2:14 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Poet Rodney Jones' Ninth Volume Explores "Imaginary Logic"

An interview with the author.

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten, the latest volume from award-winning poet Rodney Jones — Imaginary Logic.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Words and Music with Donald Harrison, Jr.

Donald Harrison, Jr. — saxophonist and Mardi Gras Indian chief.

Saxophonist, composer and Mardi Gras Indian Chief Donald Harrison, Jr. started learning about Mardi Gras Indian culture firsthand and early.

“The first time I put on a suit was at two years old for the Creole Wild West," Harrison said. I was a little chief of the Creole Wild West. I had on a dark blue and white suit my father made for me. I remember them running and going fast up and down in feathers, flying and singing.”

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: David Egan — 20 Years of Trouble

David Egan.

David Eagan is one of Louisiana's most recorded songwriters. A short list of artists covering his tunes includes Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Joe Cocker, Mavis Staples, John Mayall and Johnny Adams.

Egan grew up in the music-rich environments of 1960s Shreveport.

"You had the whole chitlins-circuit thing," Egan said. "You had the Bossier Strip, which was, of course, somebody's going to write a great book about that someday; just a hotbed of neon and music and vice. All those clubs and everything. And you had the Louisiana Hayride."

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: C.J. Chenier Keeps It Red Hot

C.J. Chenier at the 2011 Rawa Blues Festival in Poland.
Credit Małgorzata Miłaszewska-Duda

C.J. Chenier is the son of Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier.

"I didn't know to what magnitude my dad's popularity was, but I knew he played music and because he played music I wanted to play music," Chenier said.

C.J. took a few piano lessons, messed around with guitar a little bit, and by the fourth grade was ready to try a horn.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: A Conversation With Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves and her quartet will play Jazz Fest Sunday afternoon, April 28, 2013.
Credit Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves is one of the finest jazz singers on the planet. Born in Detroit, she grew up in Denver in a family full of musicians.

"There's a lot of musicians in my family," Reeves said. "My uncle is a bassist and he was with the symphony for many years, as well as a jazz bassist. A couple of great aunts were performers, and then I have another cousin who actually produced a lot of my records, George Duke. So music was very much part of the family."

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