new orleans jazz and heritage festival

American Routes Shortcuts: Cynthia Girtley

May 3, 2019
Cynthia Girtley
American Routes

Born on New Orleans’ Algiers Point, Cynthia Girtly is a singer and pianist whose music has carried her across the US and Europe. She has served as music director for churches in Washington. Her repertoire ranges from opera to contemporary and traditional gospel. But her first love remains the songbook of Mahalia Jackson. Nick Spitzer asked Cynthia about her path in gospel.

Orlando Vega At Congreso Cubano booth w/ yucca fries & chimichurri.
Poppy Tooker / Louisiana Eats

2019 marks a huge milestone for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival… 50 years! Yet, there is another benchmark being met this year. The Food Heritage Stage, which was conceived 20 years after the first Jazzfest, is turning 30. This week on Louisiana Eats, we’ll explore the Food Heritage Stage through the lens of chefs that have presented over the years, along with the people that helped pull it all together.

Doug Kershaw
American Routes

Cajun musician Doug Kershaw was born in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, 1936. He started playing fiddle at age five and gigged with his mom at a bar called the Bucket of Blood, near their coastal home. By his late teens, Doug Kershaw joined with brother Rusty on guitar to play a mix of country and Cajun music. The duo joined the cast of the Louisiana Hayride and later the Grand Ole Opry. By 1961, Rusty and Doug had a huge hit on “Diggy Liggy Lo.” Doug Kershaw’s best-known song, released in the same year, was the million-seller, “Louisiana Man.” Now in his 80s, Doug recently recorded an album of traditional French music with the noted Cajun accordionist, Steve Riley. Steve joined Doug at the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where Nick Spitzer interviewed them onstage, starting off in Cajun French. 

Doug Kershaw
American Routes

Cajun musician Doug Kershaw was born in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, 1936. He started playing fiddle at age five and gigged with his mom at a bar called the Bucket of Blood, near their coastal home. By his late teens, Doug Kershaw joined with brother Rusty on guitar to play a mix of country and Cajun music. The duo joined the cast of the Louisiana Hayride and later the Grand Ole Opry.

Herlin Riley
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week, we highlight Jazz Fest performers from yesterday and today. Host Nick Spitzer spoke with New Orleans jazz drummer Herlin Riley at his drum kit about playing with pianist Ahmad Jamal, Wynton Marsalis, and growing up in a musical family in the Lower Ninth Ward.

HR: My uncles had the Lastie Brothers Combo, and they would rehearse at my grandmother’s house - I was a baby, they would actually wheel my crib into the room where they were rehearsing -

Michael P. Smith Collection / The Historic New Orleans Collection

This week on All Things New Orleans, we're highlighting the woman behind the early production of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; Allison Miner. Cultural anthropologist Helen Regis and Rachel Lyons, archivist for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, recall Miner's life and her impact on festival. 

Then, we'll share the latest episode of the Listening Post and another story from Bring Your Own

Allyce Andrew

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival continues its second weekend today. There is no rain expected, but there will be mud. When the weather is not so friendly, more folks head under the tents.

And that’s where you find most cultural displays at Jazz Fest.

Rachel Ornelas directs the folklife village at the festival. All year she vets artisans around the state, with the help of folklorists and anthropologists.