With all the work and attention to the Jazz Fest, WWOZ’s big fundraiser, Piano Night, sometimes fades away too quickly. We were at the House of Blues for the whole evening last Monday, and we even got backstage to shoot some video with some of the production team and the musicians.
Dennis Schaibly or Big “D” as he is known to his many listeners, is the host of the Wednesday afternoon blues show on WWOZ and was the host of the first part of the Piano Night broadcast.
Dwayne Breashears wears many hats: he is the program director of WWOZ-FM and is the producer of Piano Night and the WWOZ broadcast of Piano Night. He also has been the producer of WWOZ’s Jazz Fest broadcast for over ten years.
From jump blues to soul blues and all the R&B in between, Carol Fran has been singing it for nearly 50 years. Her career started when she was still in her teens with the Don Conway Orchestra and continues to this day. For these nearly 50 years, Lafayette’s Carol Fran has been one of Louisiana’s most precious “albeit obscure” musical resources. She has recorded an enviable body of work, one that R&B aficionados have raved about for years.
WWOZ was especially honored to have Carol Fran performing at Piano Night 2008, since this was only her second public performance since suffering a stroke over a year ago.
Holley Bendtsen, a vocalist and songwriter, was one of the forces behind the formation of the first Piano Night in 1987 and is a founding member of the Pfister Sisters.
The Pfister Sisters are a trio of singers that often pay tribute to the Boswell Sisters, who grew up in New Orleans in the '20s. Holley's strong vocals are in evidence on the Pfister's new CD, Puttin' It On.
Listen to Holley as she talks about the early days of Piano Night, when it was initially a benefit to put up a statue of Professor Longhair.
A contemporary of some of New Orleans’ funk greats, Renard Poché’s contributions can be counted among the defining factors of funk in New Orleans. Best known for his electrifying guitar work, Poché is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who’s been known to move effortlessly from guitar to trombone to percussion without missing a beat.