Erica Falls.
Music Inside Out

She may have started 20 feet from stardom, but she’s gained a lot of ground in the meantime. Growing up in New Orleans’ 9th Ward, Erica Falls absorbed the sounds of everyone from Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald to the Sugar Hill Gang and the Ohio Players, to Roberta Flack and Steel Pulse.

Memorial for musician Prince.
Andy Hardman / The Listening Post

Since it's Jazz Fest season, our Listening Post Questions of the Week are focusing on music and heritage in New Orleans. We asked: what music was playing in your home growing up? And...if you could pick one song to represent you, what would it be?

Irma Thomas.
Rick Diamond / Music Inside Out

More than six billion people live on the planet, and yet relatively few human voices are recognizable to the naked ear.

Irma Thomas has one of those voices.

For more than 50 years, Thomas has written, recorded and lent her voice to some of the most precious songs that Louisiana has ever produced. Now music lovers all over the world know the contralto that she calls, “Irma’s sound.” This week, Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins makes way for the Queen of New Orleans Soul.

Keep it down, y’all. Miss Irma is speaking.

Lunch is prepared at El Paraiso, an organic farm and family-run restaurant in Viñales, Cuba.
Poppy Tooker

As the diplomatic thaw between the United States and Cuba continues, new opportunities for Americans to visit Cuba are opening all kinds of doors. In an incredible stroke of luck, Louisiana Eats! host Poppy Tooker had the opportunity to join the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on their landmark visit to Cuba for the Havana Jazz Festival. On this week's show, Poppy shares an audio travelogue from her week-long trip in the Rome of the Caribbean.

Each year on most mornings of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Sync Up conference brings together leaders in music, film and digital media for educational and networking events to help independent artists navigate the changing landscape of new media.

WWNO's Paul Maassen spoke with Scot Aiges, ‎Director of Programs, Marketing & Communications at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, about this free gathering, now in it's 9th year.

The Zion Harmonizers.
Zack Smith / Music Inside Out

They are rooted in the quartet singing tradition and a capella harmonies from the turn of the last century. For more than 40 years, The Zion Harmonizers 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 goodness. It’s wonderful.

Jahi Salaam
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

“If you grew up struggling, then you my audience,” says Jahi Salaam, an 18-year-old rapper and a poet. Jahi is from New Orleans. His first name, Jahi, means dignity in Swahili. His last name means peace. When Jahi talks about poverty, school, and prison, he says: they’re all intertwined.

This is Unprisoned.  I’m Eve Abrams.

One of the most important early music manuscripts is the Las Huelgas Codex dating from around 1300. It originated and still remains in the Cistercian convent of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Burgos, in northern Spain. The convent was a wealthy one which had connections with the royal family of Castile.

Claire Jones.
John Oakley

Farrar Hudkins speaks with Welsh-born harpist Claire Jones.

Quartetto di Cremona has been performing Beethoven’s string quartet repertoire regularly since 2014, when they performed the complete Beethoven quartet cycle in Milan. Riding the heels of that concert success, they went into the studio to record all of Beethoven’s quartets.