Wardell Quezergue Turns 80

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Published on: March 16th, 2010

WWOZ congratulates arranger/producer Wardell Quezergue on his 80th birthday!

Known as the "Creole Beethoven," Wardell led his own band (the Royal Dukes of Rhythm) and arranged for the likes of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair before forming Nola Records in 1964. That label became home to New Orleans legends like Eddie Bo, Robert Parker, Willie Tee, and Smokey Johnson. Since then, he's worked with a who's who of musicians including Paul Simon, Dr. John, B.B. King, and Willie Nelson to name just a few.

Wardell celebrated his birthday by stopping in to WWOZ for a chat with Bob French live on the air last Friday morning. He was in fine spirits and still flashed his sharp wit and warm smile. The next morning, Wardell was honored by the New Orleans Musicians Clinic with a luncheon attended by many friends including Dr. John.

Read all about the luncheon for Wardell Quezergue on Nola.com

Download "Here Come the Saints" arranged by Wardell Quezergue



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JazzLunatique's picture

I heard crazy Bradley Blanchard narrating the great piece on Wardell's birthday last week. Did he produce it also?

Mike Kobrin's picture

Indeed he did... Boy works hard!

This was truly a team effort. As Bradley correctly acknoweledges in the piece, the interview was recorded with the collaboration from WWOZ host K. Balewa, who initially approached WWOZ with the idea and conducted the interview, WWOZ Volunteer Ron Walton, who guided us with his personal knowledge of his buddy Wardell's music and career, and intern Rosie Ledezma, who coordinated the session.

Bradley Blanchard's picture

Ah yall are too kind... i still have lots to learn

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