Nina Feldman


Nina Feldman works at American Routes, where she produces the weekly Shortcuts segment. She also contributes regular news features to WWNO, on topics ranging from immigration to criminal justice and urban development. Her work has appeared on national shows like Marketplace, NPR's Morning Edition and PRI's The World.

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American Can
Nina Feldman

Late last year, the American Can Apartments delivered eviction notices to many low-income tenants. The 268-unit complex near Bayou St. John had dozens of affordable units set aside for low-income people when it opened, 15 years ago. That was part of an agreement with the city. But that agreement has now expired. And as Nina Feldman reports for WWNO, the American Can evictions are not an isolated thing. Thousands of affordably priced housing units, owned by private developers, are set to expire in coming years.

Chris Smither
American Routes

Each week, American Routes Shortcuts offers a sneak peak into the upcoming American Routes episode. This week, New Orleans Bluesman Chris Smither plays a live show in his current home- Western Massachusetts.

Terrance Simien
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at the upcoming episode. Zydeco Accordionist and Creole culture advocate Terrance Simien has been a world traveler with his south la music. Terrance Simien brought country zydeco to the public with the popular urban New Orleans film, the big easy in the late 1980s. 20 years later, Terrance’s advocacy was responsible for the creation of the Grammy award category, for best zydeco or Cajun album. And he won the Grammy that year, for this recording: Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Live Worldwide.

Carl Leblanc
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peak at our upcoming program. New Orleans banjo and guitar player Carl Leblanc has been playing music professionally for over 40 years, from Preservation Hall to Avante Jazz with Sun Ra. The guitar was his first instrument, and he learned a lot about it, right in his neighborhood. 

Bob Dorough
American Routes

Arkansas-born singer, arranger and composer Bob Dorough wrote bebop and modern jazz tunes. If those don’t ring a bell, how about “Conjunction Junction, What's your Function”? Dorough is the wit behind the songs in the popular 1970s  TV series, "School House Rock."  A few years back, host Nick Spitzer spoke to Bob about how he came to work with Miles Davis around the holidays.

Jerry Lee Lewis
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at the upcoming show. This week, it’s Rock and Soul from Memphis to Muscle Shoals. Here’s host Nick Spitzer with Sun Records rockabilly piano man, Jerry Lee Lewis.

NS: Jerry Lee Lewis was the first interview I ever did, back in college radio, and I’ve talked to him several since in the 45 years since. And it’s always memorable. About 15 years ago, American Routes went to his ranch near Memphis for his 64th birthday celebration.

Allen Toussaint
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at the upcoming show. This week, we celebrate New Orleans piano man, and producer extraordinaire, Allen Toussaint who died last November. Back in September 2005, just weeks after Katrina, Nick Spitzer interviewed Toussaint at his New York hotel.

Dew Drop Inn
Courtesy of the Ralston Crawford Collection of Jazz Photography, Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane Universtiy

On Lasalle St, just across from the former CJ Peete housing project, you can see the dilapidated sign of a New Orleans landmark: the Dew Drop Inn. From the 40s to 70s, in a time of segregation, the Dew Drop played the role of rooming house, barber shop, post office restaurant and above all the top night club in the African American community.

Les Paul
American Routes

Each week American Routes brings your Shortcuts, a sneak peek at the upcoming program. This week’s guest is not only a guitarist, he’s an inventor. Many believe that the late Les Paul developed the first electric guitar back in the 30s.  And a decade later, he was one of the first to experiment with sound-on-sound, or multi-track recording. Host Nick Spitzer sat down with Les to ask how he built his futuristic sound, and playing with wife and musical partner Mary Ford. To hear more, tune into WWNO Saturday at 7 or Sunday at 6, or listen at

Barbara Lynn
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you "Shortcuts," a sneak peek at the upcoming show. Barbara Lynn has traveled the gulf coast club circuit for almost 40 years. Back in the late 50s, Barbara cut a figure in her hometown of Beaumont Texas, earning the nickname “The Black Elvis,” by playing left-handed guitar and singing for her high school girl group, Bobby Lynn and the Idols.