Music Inside Out

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Music Inside Out is a weekly, hour-long radio program that celebrates the music and musicians of Louisiana and explores both their influences and their impact around the world. Host Gwen Thompkins is an enthusiastic believer in great music and you hear that, week after week.

the music of Louisiana in dialogue with the world

Series One presents seven evergreen hours that demonstrate Louisiana's impact on American music. The Zion Harmonizers, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Sonny Landreth, David Simon (HBO's Treme), Marcia Ball, Shannon Powell — the musicians in Series One are terrific and so is the conversation.

Take a listen

Gwen Thompkins
is a veteran correspondent and editor for National Public Radio. She was NPR’s East Africa Bureau Chief — based in Nairobi, Kenya — and senior editor of NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Thompkins was born and raised in New Orleans and worked early on as a reporter and editor at the Times-Picayune newspaper. She spent the 2010-2011 academic year as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. 

Seán Collins lives in Saint Louis, cheers for the Cardinals, and reads on his porch. He also listents to the radio. For seven years he was the Senior Producer of NPR’s All Things Considered and a founding producer of Talk of the Nation. Before that he drank lots of coffee overnight on the staff of Morning Edition, where Bob Edwards showed him the value of short, declarative sentences, something he is not demonstrating in this bio. But the real highlight were the years working with Gwen on the staff of Weekend Edition Saturday

Jason Rhein is a New Orleans-based creative media producer at Elephant Quilt Productions, a recording and post-production studio. Jason gained most of his chops as Technical Director for the nationally syndicated radio show American Routes and as Music Producer for Disney’s Imagination Movers TV series. Jason is a family-man with the two cutest kids on the planet, enjoys playing in bands, and is thrilled to be producing good radio again. 

Flawn Williams was responsible for much of the 'sound' of NPR programs for three decades. Now he's happy to bring his music and documentary chops to Music Inside Out. South Carolina-born and now Maryland-based, Flawn has also spent thirty-plus summers immersed in many branches of traditional roots music with West Virginia's Augusta Heritage Center, where he coordinates their Vocal Week program and teaches singing classes. He does concert sound mixing and music recordings from opera to Cajun, teaches recording and radio production at Georgetown University, and has sung backup harmonies on more than a dozen CDs.

Margaret Howze is an independent radio and music producer for a handful of programs in New Orleans; among them, for the last 10-plus years, American Routes.  She spent her younger, carefree years in DC with NPR's Cultural Programs - as producer of the 26-part series Wynton Marsalis: Making the Music; music producer for the weekly live show Anthem; and senior producer for Jazz Profiles.  With her husband Nick she is also raising two sons, junior members of the Who-Dat Nation. 



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39 Pieces

Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins is a weekly, one-hour radio broadcast featuring the people of Louisiana who’ve devoted their lives to America’s music. What makes their music so varied and satisfying is the influence of other cultures — an ongoing dialogue with the rest of the United States and the world.


Caption: Singer Quiana Lynell
Singer Quiana Lynell’s path to accomplished jazz bandleader and vocalist has winded through years of church choir in Texas, classical training at L...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 52:01
Caption: Ann Savoy
Ann Savoy is a lot of things: a musician, scholar, mother, and world traveler. She took the scenic route from Virginia to South Louisiana in the m...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2020
  • Length: 52:00
Caption: Wendell Brunious at the French Quarter Festival, April 2019, Credit: Scott Threlkeld
Trumpeter Wendell Brunious hails from one of New Orleans’ storied musical families -- with more than a half-dozen trumpet-playing siblings, and fat...

  • Added: Oct 06, 2020
  • Length: 52:02
Caption: Spencer Bohren, Credit: Scotty Hall
Singer-songwriter Spencer Bohren (1950-2019) was raised in Casper, Wyoming, and made his home in New Orleans. In between, for seven straight years,...

  • Added: Sep 29, 2020
  • Length: 51:59
Caption: Galactic
The members of the band Galactic have been groove-makers in New Orleans and beyond for more than 25 years, embracing R&B, hip hop, jazz, rap, rock,...

  • Added: Sep 10, 2020
  • Length: 51:59
Caption: Germaine Bazzle, Credit: Skip Bolan/Getty Images
Germaine Bazzle is New Orleans’ pre-eminent modern jazz chanteuse, eeking every emotional drop from the American Popular Songbook. For more than 5...

  • Added: Sep 04, 2020
  • Length: 51:57
Caption: Irma Thomas, Credit: Rick Olivier
A return visit with singer Irma Thomas, who pays tribute to her musical influences - some surprising - and tells Gwen all about the bottom line of ...

  • Added: Aug 14, 2020
  • Length: 51:59
Caption: Louis Armstrong
Host Gwen Thompkins makes an exclusive visit to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, NY, guided through Armstrong’s rare recordings and life...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2020
  • Length: 52:00
Caption: Ani DiFranco, Credit: From DiFranco's Facebook
Musician, singer, songwriter and feminist icon Ani DiFranco joins Gwen Thompkins for an interview and solo performance in front of a rapt New Orlea...

  • Added: Jul 23, 2020
  • Length: 51:58
Caption: Ellis Marsalis, Credit: Snug Harbor
Ellis Marsalis joins Gwen Thompkins for a wide-ranging talk about his life in music - from modern jazz pianist, to jazz educator, to father of four...

  • Added: May 20, 2020
  • Length: 51:58