I walked out of my house last week, and the bushes in the front yard were of a sudden ablaze with red and pink full-bloomed azaleas. Spring! A swoon of satsuma and sweet olive blossoms overwhelmed my senses. And the gentle breeze blew me happy thoughts of Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest. Renewal was everywhere in the air.
And in the airwaves, too. You see, last year, in March 2014, we proudly announced that WWOZ had increased its broadcast power from a mere 4,000 watts to a whopping 100,000 watts, the most any FM station can transmit. It meant that folks on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and along the Gulf Coast into Mississippi and Alabama could tune in the same shows on their radios as we did in New Orleans.
But, then, just 10 days later, the fire sprinkler in our tower facility somehow let loose a torrent of water and totally destroyed our brand new$250,000 transmitter. Just like that.
Since that time, we’ve used our old equipment while we submitted insurance claims, ordered a replacement and installed the new transmitter. It’s taken us a full year. Intrepid WWOZ Chief Engineer Damond Jacob completed that task earlier this month.
And just in time! Not only were we smack-dab in the middle of our Spring On-Air Pledge Drive, but all our live festival broadcasts are just around the corner. What’s more, since we regained full power, we've been able to focus on re-launching WWOZ-2, The All New Orleans Music Channel. It’ll be OZ’s second radio station, featuring many flavors of New Orleans music: funk, r&b, rock, blues and bounce. 24/7. If you have HD radio, you can sample it over the air at 90.7-2 FM. If not, listen to WWOZ-2 on line—either on our website or TuneIn.
The miracle of spring! We’re back. Full strength: WWOZ-1, The Mothership, and WWOZ-2, The All New Orleans Music Channel. And the flowers and blossoms have returned, too. Full strength. Many flavors.
Tickets are on sale for Piano Night 2015, which happens April 27 at the House of Blues. It'll be another epic night of music, food, and 'OZ love! This year we honor Henry Butler with a lineup that includes the Robert Glasper Experiment, Joey Alexander, Ike Stubblefield, Nigel Hall, Jorge Luis Pacheco, Brian Coogan, Joe Krown, Meghan Swartz, and Kyle Roussel. Piano Night is 'OZ's flagship benefit event and has become a tradition among lovers of New Orleans music.
If you've already bought a Brass Pass (thanks much!), you can pick it up according to the instructions here.
If you haven't bought this year's Brass Pass, you can still score one!
Thanks to everyone whose hard work made our Spring Membership Party a smashing success. The list is long and includes musicians, show hosts, volunteers, food donors, photographers and the entire roll call of our extended Louisiana music family. And it's never too late: you can still pledge and become a guardian of the groove.
On Thursday, March 12, students from the Landry-Walker Chosen Ones crashed our membership drive and took to the air waves in the most recent edition of WWOZ's Cuttin' Class. Ten days later, they took top honors at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Class Got Brass competetition in Armstrong Park. The Chosen Ones indeed!
We get to know Doreen Ketchens in the third WWOZ video profile of New Orleans buskers. "Queen Clarinet" has travelled the wide world playing music, but most weekends you can find her in the French Quarter, playing outside Rouses at the corner of Royal and St. Peter.
We're all looking forward to our favorite crawfish dishes at Jazz Fest: Crawfish Bread, Crawfish Monica, etc, etc. In the meantime, try this home-made crawfish boudin, made with crawfish tails, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, fresh parsley and rice stuffed into natural hog casings.
The 'OZ Swamp Shop is open and chock full of WWOZ gear.
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
WWOZ broadcasts from the beautiful French Market on the banks of the Mississippi.