Why support WWOZ? Because of that moment.
We’ve all had that moment, thousands of times. That moment, when we tune in and they play the music for us. Brass; jazz of countless stripes, from last century and since; funk; the New Orleans piano lineage; zydeco; every kind of the National Treasure that this city’s and Louisiana’s music is. The thing that makes us so happy, the thing that we tune in to experience. We tune in, the music plays, and our spirit lifts.
That moment. When we just turn on the radio, if we live here. When we stream, if we’re in a different city or a different country. If we’re visiting, that moment at the car rental, when we set the dial to 90.7 even before we shift from Park to Drive and set out for I-10. Maybe during work, maybe cooking or cleaning, maybe at a party with friends. Maybe when we hear an interview with a New Orleans musician who opens our eyes to something. Maybe in the throes of the pandemic, when WWOZ brought us a Jazz Festival that we didn’t imagine we could possibly have. In every setting, over and over, that moment, when these people play the music for us.
The WWOZ Show Hosts give us this. They give it. They volunteer their time, the decades of knowledge they’ve amassed, their collections, their feel for the music. Action Jackson, when we still had him, teaching us about the rhythms of the street. Big Pete and Rocking Ron, transitioning from Bix Beiderbecke to Louis Armstrong every Saturday morning, in a tradition that Michael Longfield carries on today in his own style. The Soul Sister, firing up Saturday Night. Hazel the Delta Rambler, starting Sunday morning without a word, and instead with the opening drumbeat to the most patriotic recording this country has, and one that we all need to be reminded of so much right now, Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful.” Michael Dominici, playing his weekly and also silently creating an enterprise during the pandemic to help feed the musicians and gig workers. Leslie Cooper, chuckling about coffee. Black Mold, drawing the line from rock classics to the places where they came from. Murf Reeves, moving us through Mondays and then sitting in for seemingly everything, and on the side reminding us about kindness and gratitude. Back in the day, Ernie K-Doe and the Duke-a-Paducah. The list of is too long to fairly give out the respect they all deserve. But the thing is that these show hosts give us this. They just share with us what they know and have. They and that immeasurably talented and devoted staff, every one of them so full of heart and sparkle and magic.
We all get the gift, and it’s valuable beyond words. That’s why to support WWOZ.
-Bo Cooper, WWOZ Member & Guardian of the Groove