interviews

This week on The Reading Life: Louisiana native Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City On Fire, this season’s biggest debut novel. Chelsea Clinton talks about her new book for young readers who want to make a difference, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going.

Katy Reckdahl/Juvenile Justice Information Project

At age 17, Henry Montgomery went to jail for killing a deputy in Baton Rouge. He's been in jail ever since, serving a life sentence in Angola penitentiary with no possibility for parole.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court hears a case bearing his name: Montgomery v. Louisiana. Lawyers will make their arguments before the court about mandatory life sentencing for juveniles, specifically who should get a chance at freedom.

Rebirth Brass Band at Underground Arts, 1.11.14
Wendy McCardle / MusicInsideOut.org

This is not John Philip Sousa’s band music.

Don’t get us wrong, Sousa is in the pantheon of them-who-haul-brass-through-the-streets, but we suspect the maestro might be surprised by the music today. Which, if you think about it, is good.

Otherwise, there would only be the old-timey brass band idiom and the genre would have lost touch with the people.

Which is precisely where this music has always lived. With military bands and civic orchestras and parades and funerals and weddings, brass band music has always been popular music.

Ben Burkett

When the Crescent City Farmers Market was founded 20 years ago, farmers in nearby rural areas were hesitant about coming to New Orleans. To them the city was a haven of crime and traffic, but connecting the city to the farm created more opportunities than they imagined.

dhendrix73 / Flickr

WWNO is launching a new segment looking at Jefferson Parish schools. We'll check in regularly with reporter Jessica Williams, who covers Jefferson Parish and state education policy for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

First up, Williams talks about the big stories she'll follow this school year, including several leadership changes.

Luke Winslow-King
Matt Robinson / Elephant Quilt Productions

What do you get when you combine modern jazz, the music of Woody Guthrie, Delta blues, and Antonín Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet?

You get Luke Winslow-King.

Born and raised in Michigan, a crime landed him in New Orleans. But, ever the optimist, Winslow-King decided to stay. Luke Winslow-King’s talent has drawn aggressive praise. One music lover, who was moved to weep while listening, slapped Winslow-King at the end of the song.

Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side Of Desire
MusicInsideOut.org

Rickie Lee Jones says she moved to New Orleans, in part, because she wanted to be around people. In Los Angeles, she was mostly around cars.

So far, so good. People from New Orleans — either real or imagined — are all over her latest effort, “The Other Side of Desire.” And one of Jones’ neighbors here even helped inspire a song on the album.

New Orleans' mayor: Storm's crux was levee failure

Aug 17, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

In just a few years, the city of New Orleans will celebrate its 300th birthday. As the celebration approaches, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants New Orleanians to strive not just for a rebuild, but for progress.

“I want them to think about building the city for the future and not just getting back to where we were before Katrina hit,” Landrieu says.  

Jon Cleary's songwriting is pure New Orleans. The pianist and singer has absorbed every last bit of sound from the Mississippi delta. But here's the thing: Cleary was born and raised in England.

Dr. Michael White
Derek Bridges / Flickr via MusicInsideOut.org

What do you hear when he plays his clarinet?

Can you hear the bayou? The river? The French Quarter? People sitting on their stoops waiting for someone to deliver the news? Penny parties?

That’s not a clarinet in the doctor’s hands; it’s a time machine.

“I listened to Johnny Dodds’ recordings. I listened to Sidney Bechet. I listened to George Lewis. I listened to Edmond Hall. I listened to Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and so many others. And you listen to that and you say, ‘Wow, I would like to capture that feeling.'”

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