Ronnie Kole, a beloved figure in New Orleans, is a renowned jazz pianist and musical legend. He has shared his distinctive piano music with dignitaries and fans worldwide, including Pope John Paul II and six American presidents. In 2008, Kole was inducted into the New Orleans Music Legends Park on Bourbon Street, where his life-size bronze statue is displayed. Kole tells us why his parents wanted him to learn the piano and recounts how hard his father had to work to be able to afford Kole's first instrument. Kole went on the road when he was 16 years old; he shares the story of how he was able to play music in bars, even though he was underage.


Jazz on the Bayou, on March 23 and 24, 2013, is Kole's big annual spring fundraiser. Easter Seals and STARC are the beneficiaries of Kole's event. To date, the fundraiser has raised more than $1 million. To order tickets and learn more about Jazz on the Bayou, visit Listen to the podcast here.