New Orleans WWOZ’s “Jazz Festing in Place” is Just What Our Aching Souls Need Right Now
Jazz Fest fans the world over were heartbroken to learn earlier this month that, for the first time in its 50 year history, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival would be canceled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But now the city’s “Guardians of the Groove,” WWOZ FM 90.7, aim to soothe the hurt with eight days of the best of its broadcasts recording live from past Jazz Fests.
Starting on what would have been the event’s opening day at 11 a.m. CDT on April 23 and running through closing day on May 3, WWOZ will air eight hours daily of recordings for its Jazz Festing In Place series. The programs aim to recreate a virtual “best-of” version of what would have been the daily live broadcasts captured at the station’s hospitality tent at The New Orleans Fairgrounds.
The broadcasts will air in New Orleans and can be streamed via WWOZ’s website. And in an attempt to encourage a sense of community, the station is also asking listeners to send in photos of their finest “Jazz Festing In Place” attire. The station has also come out with a version of the Jazz Fest “cubes,” the scheduling blocks that show who is performing where and when at the festival.
More than 100 mostly Louisiana acts will be featured during the broadcasts with some highlights of big-name headliners thrown in as well. Fans can take comfort in past performances by Jazz Fest favorites like Dr. John, Fats Domino, The Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Henry Butler, Marcia Ball, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, The Radiators, Big Freedia, The Rebirth Brass Band, Ellis Marsalis, and more. As an added bonus on Friday, May 1, the station will also broadcast the rarely heard 1974 “Fire Benefit” concert which raised funds for piano legend Professor Longhair, whose house burned down that same year.
And what would the Jazz Fest experience be without a mad dash between stages in an attempt to keep FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) at bay, an experience the broadcast’s producers will attempt to recreate by lifting about 20 minutes of highlights from each act. Each daily “headliner” will be given a bit more time. These recordings are drawn directly from The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation’s archives, the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest as well as the broadcast license for WWOZ.
You can Listen live to WWOZ’s “Jazz Festing In Place” worldwide at https://www.wwoz.org/listen/player/ or 90.7 FM in New Orleans. For more information click on the links below.
WWOZ FM 90.7