She brings ‘Soul Power’ to Jazz Fest

May 4, 2012 5:43 AM

Ryan Rivet

Five days a week, Melissa Weber is a manager in the Office of Cocurricular Programs of Newcomb-Tulane College. At nights and on weekends, however, she takes to the airwaves and club stages as her alter ego, D.J. Soul Sister.

DJ Soul Sister at Jazz Fest

Tulane staff member Melissa Weber, a.k.a. D.J. Soul Sister, spreads the word about the music she loves. (Photo by Marc Pagani)

Weber, who’s hosted her “Soul Power” program on WWOZ-FM radio for 16 years, also has brought her show to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as both a performer and interviewer since 2009. 

A respected live disc jockey artist, Weber opened for Cee Lo Green on the Congo Square stage last weekend and interviewed drummer Bill Summers on the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage.

“This year was absolutely great, maybe my favorite experience out of all four years,” Weber says. “I really wanted to tap into the fun energy of Cee Lo, and so I did that with the music I played. The crowd was so energetic, like I've never seen before.”

She uses both the performance and the interview as a “means to the same end,” Weber says.

“My mission [is] sharing soulful music and stories of the pioneers who have paved the way,” Weber says. “I’m honored to do both in order to support the music and musicians that I believe in and have loved since I was very young.”

Weber describes herself as “extremely camera shy,” so it seems odd that she could be so passionate about being in front of large crowds. 

But she doesn’t see it that way.

“I take spreading the word about soulful music very seriously,” Weber says. “If that means I have to go outside of my comfort zone to make that happen, then that’s all there is to it. And I’ll have fun doing it."

She was one of the many Tulane-affiliated performers at this year's Jazz Fest.


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