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Live From Here ends, KCBX introduces new show American Routes

photo by Francis Pavy
American Routes host Nick Spitzer

A new program will begin broadcasting every Saturday afternoon on KCBX Central Coast Public Radio from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., beginning September 19. According to KCBX program director Marisa Waddell, the nationally syndicated music program American Routes with Nick Spitzer will replace the weekly two-hour variety show Live From Here with Chris Thile, which ceased production last spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been broadcasting reruns.

"We will certainly miss Live From Here, Waddell said. "The caliber of musicianship on that show was extraordinary. But I think KCBX listeners will love American Routes. Nick Spitzer is clearly passionate about the music he presents, and his enthusiasm is infectious."

Host Nick Spitzer, who was named Louisiana's first State Folklorist, produces American Routes at Tulane University in New Orleans under the auspices of public radio station WWNO. According to the show's website, the program explores "a deep and diverse nation with sounds and styles shared by all Americans," and presents "blues and jazz, gospel and soul, rockabilly and country, Cajun and swamp pop, Tejano, Latin… and beyond."

The show also features conversations with musicians as diverse as Willie Nelson, Flaco Jimenez, Margo Price, Lucinda Williams and Kermit Ruffins. On Saturday, September 19, the debut program on KCBX will pay tribute to Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of the famous New Orleans Marsalis family that includes saxophonist Branford, trumpeter Wynton, trombonist Delfayo and percussionist Jason. Ellis Marsalis died in April after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

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