When we speak of Hurriane Katrina, we usually think of not so pleasant memories. One local radio station is trying to recreate thoughts of pre-Katrina times. Thursday, WQRZ began playing vintage pre-Katrina music from an earlier era. Jazz in the Pass started 15 years ago. It continued until Hurricane Katrina put the event on hold in 2005. This weekend, the music festival is making a comeback.
In honor of the event, radio station WQRZ provided its listeners with a surprise. Thursday, WQRZ radio began playing vintage live recordings. It's the first time ever that these recording have been made available to listeners and to the general public. Brice Phillips, the Station Manager for WQRZ, says, “They called me up to promote Jazz in the Pass and I was like, ‘Hey, I was the MC in 2005 and wait, I think I have all the archives from there.’” Phillips was the last host before the Katrina when he was called to help revive the event. Philllips remembered that there were hours of live recordings of the Pass Christian event. He says those historical recordings were damaged during the storm, but remained in storage. He thought they might be salvageable.
Phillips also says, “So I went back to the house and got those archives and re-burned them again put them on a CD. Plus to celebrate not only the return of the U.S.A. Navy Jazz Band coming in and a beautiful time for this weekend Jazz in the Pass.” WQRZ is playing archives from jazz from before 2005. These archives will be playing Thursday all the way through Friday morning until 6 a.m. During Hurricane Katrina, Phillips was at one of the four radio stations out of 41 on the Gulf Coast that remained on air. It was the only station at ground zero during Katrina to report that the Bay Bridge was destroyed. This weekend, officials are excited to bring back Jazz in the Pass.
Anita Giani of the Board of Pass Christian Main Street says, “The city was very busy doing a lot of things recovering, because as you know, Pass Christian was pretty much wiped out. It took us a long time to get our act together again so we could start doing the fun things again.” Jazz in the Pass is this Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 12 p.m. and admission is free.