interviews

Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
9:49 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Rebirth Brass Band: Feel Like Funkin' It Up

Rebirth Brass Band at Underground Arts 1.11.14
Credit Wendy McCardle / wendymccardle.com

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.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse's Lessons From The Campaign Trail

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse is New Orleans' new coroner. He's only the second person to hold that seat since 1974.
Credit Jeffrey Rouse/rouseforcoroner.com

Click here to listen to this week's Notes.

Of all the people running in the most recent Orleans Parish elections, only one of the winners was a true newbie. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the new coroner, about his first personal encounter with the facts of political life.

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The Reading Life
1:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Reading Life With Nevada Barr And Sally Asher

Nevada Barr

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling mystery novelist Nevada Barr, author of Destroyer Angel,  and Sally Asher, author of Hope and New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names.

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WRKF
5:42 am
Mon March 24, 2014

First Bell: It Took a Hurricane to Get this Student Reading

Chris Vasser

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 8:25 pm

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________

Vasser was not a good student in 2005.

When Hurricane Katrina forced him to move out of New Orleans and transfer to Catholic High in Baton Rouge, he had to turn it around.


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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Come Celebrate Women's History Month With Innovators In Food

Women gather together in the name of food in 1917. The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911 and has become a month-long historical appreciation.
Credit U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

March is Women's History Month in the United States and the United Kingdom. To honor the month-long event, this week on Louisiana Eats! we'll speak with some of our favorite ladies in the Louisiana food scene.

Julia Reed joins us for a reflection on her life in the Mississippi Delta and why New Orleans is so dear to her heart. We'll also speak with the co-founder of the Red Stick Market in Baton Rouge and hear how Linda Green helped unit a Korean soup with a New Orleans cultural celebration.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
5:49 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Music Inside Out: The Zion Harmonizers

Credit Zack Smith

      

They are rooted in the quartet singing tradition and a capella harmonies from the turn of the last century. For nearly the half a century, the Zion Harmonizers have enjoyed an unparalleled platform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, anchoring and curating the Gospel Tent.

In the church of New Orleans jazz, they’ve had the keys to the church of church.

Thank God. It’s wonderful.

 

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Out To Lunch
1:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Out To Lunch: Bra Strap 'N Shades

Lisa McKenzie and Stirling Barrett.
Credit Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

Just when you think there's nothing new under the sun, along comes Lisa McKenzie and Oohla Bra, her New Orleans company that turns underwear into outerwear. Oohla Bra has over 65 designer bra straps — strings of pearls, beads and sparkling delights that switch places with the regular strap on your convertible or strapless bra, transforming your everyday bra strap into a work of art.

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Inside the Arts
2:39 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Inside the Arts: Literary Festival Celebrates Tennessee Williams, & New World Music In Congo Square

Jonah Tobias of Buku Broux Band playing electric bass Kora.
Scott Aiges Jazz & Heritage Foundation

This week on Inside the Arts we celebrate Tennessee Williams' 103rd Anniversary! The 28th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival kicks off five days of festivities in and around the French Quarter, beginning on Wednesday. We highlight an exciting array of theatrical offerings.

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WRKF
4:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

First Bell: State Superintendent's Lunch Hour Lessons

State Superintendent John White

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 8:27 pm

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________ 

When state Superintendent John White was playing sports in high school, he says the poverty of the kids who lived a mile or two away from him came into view.

"I think there was something always, in a way, powerful, about being in a low-income community’s home court. Because, when you come in with your nice uniforms and, you know, you practice everyday in a nice gym or on a nice field, and you play guys whose uniforms don’t quite look the way they should, or the gym’s in bad shape, and the field is also a soccer, also a baseball, also a something else field, you get a very material view of what inequity looks like."

White found the disparity was something he couldn’t turn his back on.

He now oversees the education of Louisiana’s roughly 700,000 public school students. But he started his career teaching English in a high-poverty high school in Jersey City, NJ.

He says he never considered a career in private education, even though he went to an elite all-boys school — St. Albans in Washington, D.C. — from elementary school all the way through 12th grade. And he loved it.


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