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Kermit Ruffins playing trumpet
Kermit Ruffins, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, 2007
(CC BY) photo by Derek Bridges New Orleans, LA

WWOZ Collection

WWOZ is the premier jazz and heritage radio station of New Orleans, a city known as the birthplace of jazz and the prominent center of many musical styles. Since the early 1990s WWOZ has been broadcasting live and recording performances at musical festivals (including JazzFest, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival), concert venues, and night clubs throughout New Orleans.

Using a variety of affordable recording technologies, WWOZ amassed thousands of hours of recordings that document an incredible range of jazz, blues, gospel, rock and roll, Cajun and zydeco music, including performances by local and national musical legends.

Selected Recordings from the Collection

Treme Brass Band, March 30, 2003

Courtesy Treme Brass Band

Little Freddie King, French Quarter Festival, New Orleans, April 11, 2003

Courtesy Little Freddie King, "Wacko" Wade Production, LLC

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tipitina's, New Orleans, January 12, 2005

Courtesy Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tipitina's, New Orleans, January 12, 2005

Courtesy Preservation Hall Jazz Band


Little Freddie King
Little Freddie King
photo by Jef Jaisun, courtesy WWOZ

Not long after the collection was nearly lost during the floods following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, WWOZ’s Station Manager David Freedman and Gene DeAnna, Head of the Recorded Sound Section at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, entered into an agreement to preserve the WWOZ recordings.

The agreement called for the recordings to be gifted to the Library of Congress where they would be stored, cataloged, and digitized. In return WWOZ would receive a complete set of archival quality preservation files made in the Library’s state-of-the-art facility.

With help from a Grammy Foundation grant to inventory the collection, the Library of Congress has cataloged and digitized most of over 2,000 items in a variety of sound formats with a range of preservation challenges. The digitized recordings from the collection are available to the public for walk-in listening in the Library’s Recorded Sound Research Center in the Madison Building on Capitol Hill.

DJ Bill De Turk WWOZ
DJ Bill De Turk,
courtesy WWOZ

 

The WWOZ Collection encompasses:

  • live musical performances from venues across New Orleans and surrounding areas, WWOZ radio shows, studio air checks, interviews, and DJ shows;
  • content and formats ranging from 1993-2007;
  • digital files transferred from CD-R, cassette tape, and DAT formats now accessible in the Recorded Sound Research Center; and
  • jazz, blues, rock and roll, gospel, R&B, zydeco, and Cajun music;
  • performances by Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, Boozoo Chavis, Terence Blanchard, Levon Helm, Freddie King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Boozoo Chavis, Henry Butler, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and Bob French’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Band.
Treme Brass Band at the Candlelight Lounge
Treme Brass Band at the Candlelight Lounge
courtesy WWOZ
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  August 3, 2021
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