WWOZ: Thirty Years of "Bringing New Orleans Music to the Universe"
WWOZ will also travel to clubs and national events to broadcast live feeds to the station. Breashears and Borne will pack up their mini-studio and broadcast live from classic venues such as the Maple Leaf Bar and Snug Harbor. Recently, the station broadcast live from the Grammy Museum for "A Night of Louisiana Music" featuring four Grammy-nominated Louisiana performers in a three hour concert. New Orleans Jazz Festival weekend finds WWOZ on-site at their festival tent sending out live music direct from the festival. For many out of state New Orleanians, this becomes their connection to this internationally recognized music festival they all so loved while residents. WWOZ also sponsors the highly regarded Piano Night during the jazz festival where some of the city's greatest piano players show their stuff to a sold out audience at the House of Blues.
WWOZ, like many public stations, supports itself through grant funding and memberships. Premiums for members typically include CD compilations of WWOZ studio and live feed recordings of various New Orleans artists in a mix of musical styles. Because these CD's are not for sale, they are an excellent reason for membership. At this point, there are 31 volumes of music from their studio and live feeds featuring such artist as Herlin Riley, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Astral Project, The Bad Plus, Hot Club of New Orleans, Shamarr Allen, Irma Thomas and many others. These are excellent collections for New Orleans enthusiast who are interested in hearing the many and various styles of music in the Crescent City.
Luckily for those of us who do not live in New Orleans, all of WWOZ's programming is available online at wwoz.org. From its twenty four hour live studio feed to the archived programs of New Orleans All The Way Live, it's all available to anyone with an internet connection. Their live music calendar is invaluable to anyone who may be visiting the city, and just reading the calendar, which is read on the air at the top of every odd hour, is a testament to the importance of music to this city. Its live concert and club feeds takes the listener inside the venues and gives jazz and music fans the opportunity to be in New Orleans and experience the music and the joy of the crowd.
It is inconceivable to think of New Orleans without WWOZ. While its eclectic mix of music may not be for everyone, to have a radio station that knows what it means to be a New Orleanian is important to maintaining it unique culture. The staff and volunteers are locals and lovers of the city who recognize that New Orleans is different, and its culture needs to be preserved. As another of their tag lines reads, "WWOZ: Guardian of the Groove." For thirty years, this small radio station in the New Orleans French Quarter has been guardian, archivist, and promoter of the New Orleans music culture. With their strong internet presence, that culture and its music can be enjoyed internationally. WWOZ does indeed bring New Orleans music to the universe.