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Historic jazz, blues recordings preserved

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A New Orleans radio station has donated more than 7,000 hours of live jazz and blues recordings to the Library of Congress in Washington.

The community-supported radio station, WWOZ-FM, made the contribution after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters nearly wiped out its primary tape storage facility.

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The rare recordings were culled from various music festivals, nightclubs and street events and include jazz, blues, gospel, brass band and zydeco music.

In support of this remarkable gift, the Grammy Foundation has awarded WWOZ a $45,000 grant toward the preservation of the collection.

"We are excited about this unique collection and look forward to partnering with WWOZ and the Grammy Foundation to preserve it and make the historic recordings available to the American people," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement.

"Without the combined support of the Library and the Grammy Foundation, the station could not have come up with the money to save all its live performance recordings. At the same time, we were in a position to greatly enhance the Library’s collection and, thus, every American’s access to great music," said David Freedman, general manager of WWOZ.

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