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New Orleans’ WWOZ-FM Donates Live Jazz and Blues Recordings to Library of Congress

WWOZ-FM, a community-supported radio station in New Orleans, has donated more than 7,000 hours of live jazz and blues recordings to the Library of Congress. The collection, which spans 15 years, was almost lost when Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters nearly destroyed the station’s primary tape storage facility.

In support of the gift, the Grammy Foundation has awarded WWOZ a $45,000 grant toward the preservation of the collection. Of that total, $5,000 was awarded through the foundation’s Music Preservation Project, which identifies and restores at-risk media and archival materials, and $40,000 was awarded through a special Gulf Coast award cycle via the Grammy Foundation Grant Program.

The recordings, derived from various music festivals, nightclubs and street events, feature diverse forms of New Orleans’ roots music, including jazz, blues, gospel, brass band and zydeco, dating back to 1993. Among the artists whose music was recorded are Professor Longhair (pictured), Clifton Chenier and Queen Ida.

While awaiting cataloging and digital preservation, the recordings will be stored in climate-controlled vaults at the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, the Library’s preservation facility in Culpeper, Virginia.

Originally Published