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Sit down and visit with the Crescent City piano professor and hoodoo rock and roller Dr. John as he recalls his early days in as a studio guitarist in New Orleans and the West Coast birth of the Night Tripper. And tag along as we drop by the place where time stands still, but the music jumps, Preservation Hall. Meet musicians, fans and the family that started it all.


In which we visit with two pianists and men of music-each eccentric in his own right. Since the early ’70s, singer, songwriter and piano player Tom Waits has gone from anachronistic barfly and lounge singer to avant-vernacular iconoclast. Twentieth century jazz legend Dave Brubeck made his name by using odd, unconventional time signatures back when jazz was for dancing. And we radiate the 88s with some of the best piano music around.


This week feel the Pan-Latin vibe with guests Flaco Jiminez and Eddie Palmieri. San Antonio native and king of the conjunto accordion, Jiminez recalls his father’s influence on his playing. And NuYorican jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri talks about reshaping Latin bands with his La Perfecta group in the early 1960s. Plus, hear how Latin music influenced American roots rock, jazz and even Cajun music.


American Routes host Nick Spitzer takes you in story and song to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Nick blends music and commentary that describes the place of storms and floods in the history and culture of the city and region. Featured are classic blues about broken levees and broken hearts, celebratory jazz funerals and memories of the city in song. Artists include Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Fats Domino and Randy Newman, among others. Also tales of hurricanes past in Cajun music and a visit with the leader of a Cajun rescue flotilla, Lafayette, LA public radio station manager Dave Spizale.