August 16, 2010 — New Orleans has had its ups and downs – a Super Bowl championship in February, an oil spill in April, and all the while still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. WTJU-FM will again celebrate the culture and resiliency of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast with its fifth annual week of special programming from Aug. 23 through 29.
WTJU-FM (91.1) is a service of the University of Virginia.
"The music of New Orleans is a truly unique example of how multiple cultural influences can come together and morph into something that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world," David Eisenman, WTJU's jazz and blues director, said. "The rich and diverse sounds and textures found in New Orleans music offer something for every musical penchant. And once you experience it, you just keep wanting more."
The schedule, spanning all styles of Gulf Coast music from Louis Armstrong to Galactic, is available on the WTJU website. Highlights include:
• "All That Jazz," showcasing quintessential trumpeter Kermit Ruffins (Aug. 24 at 9 a.m.)
• "Radio Tropicale," celebrating the African roots of New Orleans (Aug. 25 at noon)
• Zydecajun Conspiracy returning to "Folk and Beyond" (Aug. 26 at 5 p.m.)
• "Professor Bebop" – the alter ego of longtime WTJU DJ Dave Rogers – spinning classic New Orleans rhythm and blues (Aug. 27 at 11 p.m.)
• "In the Spirit" featuring Gulf Coast gospel traditions (Aug. 29 at 9 a.m.)
Tom "The Bartender" Morgan, a former WTJU announcer who now works for WWOZ in New Orleans, said that while the region has had a lot to cheer about – the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl, a new mayor for New Orleans, an HBO series based on the Treme neighborhood – much work remains.
"The gulf oil spill has been as devastating as the flooding, with many people out of jobs and many of our seafood specialties either gone or in short supply," he said. "Our new hospital, to replace Charity Hospital lost in the storm, is now more than four years away from completion."
Music and culture are important to the city's well-being, he added. "So listen and enjoy this fine musical tribute."