'OZone Email Newsletter for December, 2014

Holidays in the studio

In This Issue

WWOZ's 2014 in One Hundred Photos

End of Year Giving

Our Show Hosts' Favorite Recordings of the Year

Cheers for Our Volunteers

Best of the Beat Awards

Carnival 2015 Kicks Off January 6

Recipe: Poached Speckled Trout with Sweet Potatoes

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Dear Listener,

I know it’s a tad early in the party season, but it’ll take something to top last Friday night’s throw-down at Chickie Wah Wah. I’m talking, of course, about the annual WWOZ Volunteer Party, presided over by station staffers Maryse Déjean and Jorge Fuentes. There were hundreds of joyful, well-plied celebrants—you just had to be there to appreciate the gusto.

Sugar Bear proved to be the perfect New Orleans party band, but the icing on the cake was the steady stream of singers stepping out of the audience up to the stage: WWOZ volunteers Pearl Ricks, then Mikayla Braun, ending with Leslie Cooper. I’m sure that they are just the tip of the talent iceberg in the sea of gifted musicians that power WWOZ, but each of our in-house vocalists was unbelievably great. You really need to check them out. Somebody suggested we start our own WWOZ label.

We even had bagpipes: Kevin Bacon played a brief set in honor of one of our most beloved volunteer show hosts, Sean O’Meara, may his memory be a Blessing. Chef Mark Murphy delivered a very moving eulogy to Sean, whose Music in the Glen program, featuring all things Celtic, was one of the most widely listened to shows on WWOZ. Sean’s passion, intelligence, cheerful optimism and huge heart will be sorely missed.

Radio stations across the country are scratching their heads wondering what makes WWOZ more of a cult than a call sign. Well one of our secret ingredients, right out in the open, is our 650 volunteers, who do everything from creating all the wonderful programs your hear, to well… being the life of the party.

Whether they were providing the entertainment or hustling food like Chief Provisioner Chris Wells, or cooking up scrumptious fare like Chefs Dennis Schaibly, George Ingmire, and Grace Perrine (bearing pans of brownies) or schlepping our huge birthday cake from Café Cake like Rick Wilkof, or attending to any of the other assorted duties and chores it takes to make a complete evening, volunteer energy pulsed everywhere. Thank you Sakura Koné, Leslie and Joe Cooper, Julie Jenkins, Mary Lambert, Karen Paige and Veronica Cromwell!

Another bouquet of gratitude goes out to those on our staff who went way beyond their job descriptions that night: Russell Shelton, Duane Williams, Melanie Merz, Crystal Gross and Lauren del Rio.

WWOZ is a 24/7 365-day-a-year party in a city that relentlessly pursues an excuse to boogie. So you know the annual Volunteer Thing has to have the same great energy that comes across our airwaves. In the dark of winter, it sure warms a General Manager’s heart.

Yours in eggnog and river fog,

David Freedman signature

David Freedman
General Manager

WWOZ's 2014 in One Hundred Photos

Irma Thomas

Irma Thomas last spring at Jazz Fest.

Photo by Leon Morris

Check out the work by our awesome volunteer photographers in this collection of one hundred (or so) terrific photos from 2014's in-studio performances, festivals, parades, and other events. Special thanks to Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee, Kichea S. Burt, and Leon Morris, whose work accounts for most of the shots in this Flickr set.

» Check out our favorite photos of the year

End of Year Giving

Car Donation

Consider a car donation.


The end of the year is a great time for charitable giving. With so many great organizations worthy of your support, we hope you'll remember WWOZ. Before you ring in the New Year, please consider making a year-end charitable gift to WWOZ. Your tax-deductible gift means a lot to us, right down to the syncopated fibers of our beings.

» Give for the Groove

» Donate a car & get a tax write-off for 2014!

WWOZ Birthday

Our Show Hosts' Favorite Recordings of the Year

CDs in the WWOZ studio

CDs in the WWOZ studio.

Photo by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee

OZ's show hosts, a collection of passionate music lovers, have made their lists (and checked them twice!) of their favorite records of 2014. Let those in the know help you choose gifts for your favorite music lovers, or just fine-tune your own collection of great tunes.

» Notable Recordings of 2014

Cheers for Our Volunteers

OZ Volunteer Pearl Ricks

'OZ Volunteer Pearl Ricks on stage at Chickie Wah Wah.

Photo by Stafford

WWOZ General Manager David Freedman said it above, but it bears repeating: we have the greatest group of volunteers in the world, and without them, this Whole Entire Thing would be impossible. So on Saturday, December 13, we celebrated them at Chickie Wah Wah, with music and food, staff and friends. They deserve every bit of appreciation for helping WWOZ Guard the Groove for another year.

» Volunteer Party highlights

» About 'OZ Volunteers

Best of the Beat Awards

Ellis Marsalis

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ellis Marsalis.

Photo by Leon Morris

The Best of the Beat Awards happen on Thursday, Jan 22 at Generations Hall, with performances by the New Orleans Suspects, the Honey Island Swamp Band, Dumpstaphunk, Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, and more. There'll also be an all-star tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ellis Marsalis.

» Early-bird ticket special through December 31

Pledge Now   OZ Swamp Shop Sponsor 'OZ

Carnival 2015 Kicks Off January 6

Twelfth Night procession

Last year's Jeanne d'Arc procession.

Photo by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee

The 2015 carnival season kicks off on Twelfth Night, January 6. In addition to the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar ride, the occasion is marked by the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc's annual procession through the French Quarter, a blend of family-friendly whimsy and idealism, in which the sacred and the secular combine, in equal parts light-hearted Mardi Gras parade and genuine saint procession.

» Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc's annual Twelfth Night procession

Recipe: Poached Speckled Trout with Sweet Potatoes

Poached Speckled Trout with Sweet Potatoes

Poached Speckled Trout with Sweet Potatoes.

This month's recipe comes to us from Chef Joel Brown of Café Hope on the Westbank. It features trout and sweet potatoes in a spicy broth with greens, radishes and satsumas. Café Hope is a nonprofit culinary arts and life skills program for at-risk youth with a community garden that provides much of the produce used in the restaurant's dishes.

» Recipe: Poached Speckled Trout with Sweet Potatoes

WWOZ Quick Links


The 'OZ Swamp Shop is open and chock full of WWOZ gear.

New Orleans Music Calendar

Live music is the lifeblood of New Orleans. Check out our online music calendar to find out who's playing where.

WWOZ Elsewhere on the Web

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Support WWOZ—and the music you love

WWOZ broadcasts from the beautiful French Market on the banks of the Mississippi.

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