New Orleans is often called the birthplace of jazz, famous for musicians from Louis Armstrong to Jelly Roll Morton.
The Big Easy is still central to the jazz music scene, and Sondra Bibb, host of “Jazz from the French Market with Sandra Bibb” on WWOZ, says that a number of new young artists are blending the hip hop and rock rhythms they grew with into their jazz.
And now we continue our summer songs series. We've been talking to Gwen Thompkins - the host of Music Inside Out on WWNO in New Orleans - about current artists who reinterpret old classics. This week she tells us about musician Alex McMurray. He takes us on a little bit of time travel back to the heyday of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Welcome back, Gwen.
GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: Thank you so much, Celeste. It's great to be back.
HEADLEE: So this song is an American version of a tune by a British band.
Now we continue our Summer Songs series. Gwen Thompkins, the host of Music Inside Out on WWNO in New Orleans, is introducing us to a handful of contemporary artists who've taken some old classics out for a new spin. This week, she tells us about an unlikely pairing with New Orleans favorite Michael White.
This week we're talkin' jazz with the great drummer Herlin Riley, and you'll hear about a subscription program that makes art collecting easy and accessible. We'll round out the show with a visit to NOVAC, a local non-profit that is helping to cultivate our film community.
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Big band music is about to make a comeback in New Orleans thanks to Elvin Monteleone, a native who decided it was time to come home and bring his unique vision back with him.
Big bands were big business through the 1950s, but fell out of favor due to changing tastes in music and the expense of maintaining a large roster of musicians. Monteleone, who fell in love with Glenn Miller's music while playing Alto Sax in high school at De La Salle, says he woke up one morning in Scottsdale, AZ and decided it was time he started a 20-piece big band.
And now we continue our summer song series. We're talking to Gwen Thompkins, host of the program "Music Inside Out," which is heard on member station WWNO in New Orleans. She's introducing us to a handful of contemporary artists who've offered a new take on some old classics. Allen Toussaint has been writing songs and shaping the New Orleans rhythm and blues and rock sound since he was a teenager. Now he's in his 70s and he's experimenting with jazz. And Gwen Thompkins is back with us. Hi, Gwen.
One of the original new-school New Orleans brass bands, a Dirty Dozen show guarantees a good time. This year actually marks three dozen years since the first incarnation of the group coalesced to resurrect a then-disappearing tradition — and infuse it with both bebop and funk. As with many a show since '77, there was dancing and handkerchief-waving aplenty, and several original members were present to anchor the proceedings.
Roger Hayward Lewis, baritone and soprano saxophone