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Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans-based author, folklorist, musician, and producer whose diverse work focuses on Louisiana’s rich regional culture. Sandmel has written two books -- Zydeco!(with photographer Rick Olivier), and Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans -- along with chapters for academic anthologies, liner notes for over one-hundred albums, and articles for numerous publications including The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal. Sandmel currently conducts fieldwork research for the state-funded Louisiana Folklife Program, documenting music and occupational folklore, the latter based on his experience as a riverboat deckhand. Sandmel is a programming consultant for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the fields of Cajun music, zydeco, blues, and country, and he produces the festival’s oral history/interview venue, the Music Heritage Stage. Sandmel spent 18 years as the drummer/manager with the historic Cajun swing band The Hackberry Ramblers, producing/playing on