In 1961, New Orleans tuba player Allan Jaffe and his wife Sandra turned a drafty French Quarter carriage house into a haven where the town’s struggling, aging musicians could perform. Today Preservation Hall is the de facto Vatican of traditional jazz, and most of the songs you’ll hear there are (at least) twice as old as the Hall itself.
The best part is that this doesn’t mean the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is mired in the old—on the contrary, this deep reverence for New Orleans cultural tradition is overlayed with a postmodern sensibility. Earlier this year the hall’s label released “Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall…,” whose profits will fund programs for the next generation of New Orleans musicians, featuring the likes of Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames, and Ani DiFranco. You might also check out their cover of the Kinks’ Complicated Life.
Just like the music they hold dear, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is fluid and evolving. And they put on one hell of a live show—if this isn’t one of them most exhilarating shows you see this ear, we’ll eat the sousaphone in that photo up there.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band with special guests, City Winery, Wednesday 11/3 at 8PM; $35-$45
What I'm listening to: Panama - Bunk Johnson