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New Orleans Drummer Johnny Vidacovich, 'Live At Jazz, TX'

Jessica Watkins
Johnny Vidacovich at Jazz, TX

New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich says the endless stream of parades that take place in the Crescent City inspired him to become a musician at a young age, and he remembers his first paying gig:

“I was playing in a kid band, [wearing] derby hats, and I think the first amount of money we made was about three-fifty, four dollars. It wasn’t five dollars! I’ll tell you that much, it wasn’t five.”

As an adult, Vidacovich went on to work with the likes of Professor Longhair, and the long-running Astral Project.

In this episode of “Live At Jazz, TX,” Vidacovich takes the drum stool for New Orleans classics “West End Blues” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” as well as swinging standards like “Bags’ Groove.” Fellow New Orleans native Pierre Poree sings, club owner Doc Watkins is on the piano, and trumpeter Kris Vargas (Dirty River Dixie Band) sits in for a few tunes as well!

Listen to “Live At Jazz, TX” Saturday nights at 7:00 on Texas Public Radio, or get a preview using the audio player below.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.