Jerry Lenaz: French Market studio reflection

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Published on: November 21st, 2023

Jerry Lenaz at WWOZ in 2014

Jerry Lenaz at WWOZ in 2014
Jerry Lenaz at WWOZ in 2014

WWOZ is moving up the street from our French Market Studio to our new home at Jax Brewery so we're spending this week looking back at 18 years of WWOZ broadcasting from the French Market with photos, videos, and station volunteer recollections.

"After getting myself and friends to safety, one of my first thoughts after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Sunday, August 29th, 2005, was, 'What's going to happen to 'OZ?'

"Returning to the city, and seeing the mass destruction and herculean effort it would take to rebuild, how would WWOZ ever replace its beloved 'Tree House' in Armstrong Park? Well, thanks to the French Market Corporation, they were able to make room in their building for their neighbor (as all good New Orleanians do), and WWOZ finally had a home, right at the foot of the French Market, overlooking the Mississippi River, and in the crossroads of live music from the street, studio, and broadcast booth!

"While it was a cozy space, it made the camaraderie much nicer, reconnecting with older friends, and making new ones. My favorite memories were of the Fall and Spring Fundrives, where I was able to see Spider Stacy of the Pogues pitch right alongside James Carville on Cousin Dimitri's show (and as he said, "What could possibly go wrong?"). Or having Marc Paradis, Camile Baudoin, and others make up songs on the spot based on the callers who pledged on Missy Bowen's Thursday night blues show. And finally, having all of the great live performances from Dr. John, The Revivalists, Alynda Segarra, Kristin Diable, and many other local and traveling musicians who were passing through and wanted to pay homage to the radio station that keeps the gritty and the groove of New Orleans alive and strong.

"While I'm excited about our new location on Jax Brewery for bigger and better things, there is always something about the French Market location that was very New Orleans - lots of history, a bit broken and dirty, but filled to the brim with the best, friendliest, and most talented people I know."

-Jerry Lenaz
20-year WWOZ Volunteer
Friday Livewire Reader

Please support our move into the future! November 28 is Giving Tuesday AND it's WWOZ's moving day as we relocate our studio to Jax Brewery!

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