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.
Throughout her career, Thompkins consistently has shaped stories to music and vice versa. She reported a critically acclaimed, music-rich NPR series on New Orleans in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. She’s also reported on secret wedding night dances in Sudan, musical testimonials to crimes against humanity in Northern Uganda, and East Africa’s fascination with Dolly Parton.
Thompkins remains a contributing writer for NPR and files musical stories and essays from New Orleans. Personally, she’s never quite evolved from making mix tapes, playlists, and connections with a wide variety of artists. Her interviews teem with humor, curiosity, and creativity.
- Country Music in a Far Country
- Preserving the Home of New Orleans’ Piano Professor
- Good Times Or Bad, Etta James Kept Love Going
- Reviving James Booker, The ‘Piano Prince of New Orleans’
Jason Rhein is a New Orleans-based creative media producer at Elephant Quilt, 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.
He likes baseball & books, but not books about baseball. And cooking & photography. And porches, neuroscience, radio, and architecture, especially the vernacular architecture of cities, like Saint Louis, where he lives.
For seven years he was the Senior Producer of NPR’s All Things Considered and 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.
He collaborated on projects that earned the network Peabody awards and duPont-Columbia batons.