New Orleans Musicfest comes to Nevada County via The Bridge 105.7 FM |

New Orleans Musicfest comes to Nevada County via The Bridge 105.7 FM

James Carter and his Organ Trio will perform live on The Bridge 105.7 FM live broadcast of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival this Thursday.
Submitted photo


WHAT: The 50th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival Live Broadcast

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, April 25-May 5

WHERE: The Bridge 105.7 FM, Nevada City and streaming online at (click on “Listen” on home page and choose”Listen - The Bridge”

INFO: 530-265-9073 or

So the 50th anniversary edition of the fabled New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival is coming live here to, yes, Nevada County.

Now, wait, it’s in New Orleans, isn’t it? Well, yeah, sure …

So how is it here? Hey, it’ll be on The Bridge 105.7 FM.

That’s right, KVMR’s new NPR station wants even more folks to discover its on-air presents and, duh, presence … and here’s a way to maybe encourage those finicky music traditionalists to give The Bridge 105.7 FM a real listen, maybe for the very first time.

“The Bridge 105.1 FM has been on the air since last September with exceptional NPR programming, Democracy Now! (9 a.m. weekdays), and leading independent public radio programming from across the nation by day and our millennial musical mix from KVMRx by night,” explains KVMR Program Director Steve Baker. “Now it’s a chance to offer live music fans an opportunity to hear this amazing New Orleans tradition live on our very own new signal.”

While the over-the-air signal reaches western Nevada County and surrounding areas, The Bridge can be heard online anywhere by clicking at “Listen” on the home page and choosing “Listen Live – The Bridge.” Simple, okay?

It’s a daytime broadcast since the festival winds up by dusk in New Orleans, so it’ll run Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. (after Democracy Now) to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. (after Weekend Edition) to 5 p.m., currently both weeks are scheduled to be offered, April 25-28 and May 2-5.


Okay, you aren’t going to believe how this festival started.

Back in 1970, Louisiana-born Mahalia Jackson performed alongside jazz legend Duke Ellington. The inaugural festival drew a paid crowd of, count ‘em, 350.

By earlier this century, those audiences had soared to over 150,000 annually.

“It’s been on my bucket list for decades,” says KVMR Chief Engineer Dave Barnett. “The line-ups are simply fantastic.”

And you’ll hear them live on The Bridge 105.7 FM, with the originating broadcast coming from New Orleans community radio station WWOZ.

“The festival no longer limits itself to one genre, however, with music from styles included, like Afro-Carribean to rock and rap to country, the festival is truly a musical event created by music fans, for music fans,” said one producer.

This year the talent roster includes heavies ranging from Santana to Jimmy Cliff, Tom Jones to Ziggy Marley, Gladys Knight to Aaron Neville and Jimmy Buffett to Katy Perry but, not surprisingly, some are skittish about having their live performances broadcast.


Before Mick Jagger had to withdraw from Rolling Stones concerts this spring for medical reasons, including the Jazz & Heritage, their performance was the grumbling talk of the town, since an extra $100 was added to the price of each ticket the day the Stones were to play.

“Oh, if we could air everyone we wanted,” noted WWOZ broadcast coordinator Sarah Holtz.

Thursday’s national broadcast will feature the James Carter Organ Trio, Jason Marsalis and the Django Festival All-Stars, among others.

WWOZ is broadcasting from six different stages, including Blues, Jazz & Heritage and Fais Do Do (Cajun and folk) and more.

The New Orleans music-style radio station has had exclusive rights to Jazz & Heritage broadcasts for decades. And in recent years,they’ve started offering fellow community radio stations the rights to air their festival coverage as well.

This year, Nevada County and KVMR join the fold.

“Try it out,” suggested KVMR’s Baker. “You might have just found another festival music home, while The Bridge 105.7 FM is your home for public radio in Nevada County.”

Coincidentally, WWOZ now has a mobile broadcast unit that can double as a remote back-up in case of emergency.


Some of the grant money for that live remote came from KVMR supporters, who donated $60,000 to nonprofits during a special day of fundraising for Hurricane Katrina relief back in 2005.

That’s after WWOZ was forced to sign off and leave their building because of the flooding situation. The last deejay on the air at the time was Peggy Lou, a listener favorite when she hosted a show on KVMR when she live here during the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

And, guess what? She’s still holding forth on WWOZ Saturday nights 10 p.m. to midnight some 14 years after Katrina.

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City’s volunteer-driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at The station now offers national and regional public radio programming by day at The Bridge 105.7 FM, including Morning Edition, Democracy Now! and All Things Considered. Complete schedules available at the station’s website, The station now features an easy-to-use archive of all shows at

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