Music is a huge part of a city. Music is the way that people express themselves, and the unique fingerprint of that expression is dictated by a given city’s history. You cannot really know a place without experiencing how the people who live there sing, dance, celebrate, and mourn. New Orleans is prototypical when it comes to musical culture. Here, people build a soundtrack to absolutely everything. It’s great to see the soundtrack played live, of course, but not always feasible. After all, sometimes you want to sit around the house, grill in the backyard, or boil up a bunch of seafood. The radio is meant for these times, and the best way to catch local tunes and get a feel for the sounds of New Orleans on the radio is WWOZ-FM.
WWOZ is a rarity in America these days: a non-commercial, community supported radio station that concentrates on the music and culture of a particular region. No news, no talking heads: just 24 hours a day of great curated music. Different shows highlight different genres, some more connected to New Orleans than others, but really, New Orleans has always been about music, any music. The strength of this city, and the strength of WWOZ, is the variety of influence. R&B, funk, reggae, salsa, celtic, bluegrass, and on and on are represented on the airwaves here. There is always something to listen to, selected and played by someone who knows what’s up.
It’s about the music, nothing else. Music sets the soundtrack to the day’s activities, and having WWOZ on the airwaves is an asset to every day. The sounds, influences and passions of New Orleans are no longer limited to its airwaves: thanks to the internet, you can listen to WWOZ anywhere. By tuning in on your radio or your browser, a radio station like WWOZ can give you an insight into a part of a local culture you might not otherwise have the chance to hear. People reveal a lot about themselves in their musical tastes; it’s not just a question of genre, it’s about influence and openness to influence. It’s about finding the familiar hidden in a foreign sound, or something new hidden in an old forgotten song. New Orleans has always been a gumbo pot of sounds and influence, and our community supported radio station, WWOZ, is the perfect embodiment of that gumbo.