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Music Inside Out

By his count, Wendell Brunious knows more than 2,000 songs. Some are from the Great American Songbook, some are traditional, swing and bebop jazz gems and many are from the golden era of New Orleans rhythm and blues. A goodly few are homemade. Wendell’s father, John “Picket” Brunious, Sr. was a composer and arranger, as was his brother John, Jr. Wendell says he plays their music to keep them ever-present, but he has his own of stock of originals. Over a more than 50 year-career in the business, he says his number one rule remains, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

Music Inside Out

The Wonderful World of Ricky Riccardi

Perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring facts about Ricky Riccardi, who directs research collections at the Louis Armstrong House Museum Collection in Queens, is that he never argued with his parents. Not once. “Why would I fight with these people?” he reportedly told his wife, Margaret, on their first date.

Andrea Canter

Ask him about his hat. The multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton wears an assortment of caps, fedoras, and other lids on stage. He first needed the head wear nearly 40 years ago, when he was way too young to play club dates in and around New Orleans, but played them anyway.

American Routes: Trombone Shorty

Jun 16, 2017
Trombone Shorty
Trombone Shorty Foundation

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week we talk to New Orleans senior statesmen Trombone Shorty, who began playing music in Treme at age four. Trombone Shorty chose to be a musical journeyman instead of seeking to attend the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. Since then, the 31-year-old has brought his distinctive style of New Orleans music all over the world.

Bob Travis / Flickr

When the microphone switches on, some people freeze. They can’t think of a thing to say. But Terence Blanchard relaxes.