Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Coming Mardi Gras, 2010 - PRESERVATION: A collaborative benefit album featuring Tom Waits, Andrew Bird, Merle Haggard and more!


NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 16, 2010: Over the last year, more than 20 of American music's most exciting artists have traveled to Preservation Hall in New Orleans to collaborate with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on classic New Orleans repertoire. The end result is a timeless and joyous celebration of New Orleans music. Proceeds from the sale of the project will benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program. The album is set for release on Fat Tuesday, February 16, 2010 in standard CD, deluxe edition, and double-LP collectible formats.

The mission of Preservation Hall, to showcase and nurture one of America's greatest indigenous, national, cultural treasures - New Orleans Jazz - is as important today as it was when Preservation Hall officially opened its doors in 1961.

"Our community is deeply rooted in a tradition of using music to rejoice, heal, and overcome adversity. We play music at our funerals to uplift our spirits during our deepest and darkest emotional moments," says producer Ben Jaffe, PHJB Creative Director and son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe. "My goal on this project was to create new works steeped in the New Orleans Tradition with artists from diverse musical genres and backgrounds who all share a mutual admiration and deep appreciation for our cultural heritage."

From Brandi Carlile's take on the gospel classic "Old Rugged Cross" to Tom Waits' arrangement of the earliest known recorded Mardi Gras song, "Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing," each artist was able to perform their interpretation of these classics within the warm confines of Preservation Hall's famous performance space. Even New Orleans' own legendary Louis Armstrong, who once said, "Preservation Hall, now that's where you'll hear all the greats," is transported through the decades and can be heard trading licks and vocals on an updated version of his classic "Rockin' Chair."

The complete roster of artists includes: Louis Armstrong, Andrew Bird, Terence Blanchard, Pete Seeger, Dr. John, Blind Boys of Alabama, Brandi Carlile, Cory Chisel, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard, Richie Havens, Jason Isbell, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, Amy Lavere, Anita Briem, Del McCoury, Buddy Miller, Paolo Nutini, and Tom Waits.

Preservation Hall, located in the French Quarter just three blocks from the Mississippi River, remains the intimate veune it originally was when it opened in 1961 as a performance space dedicated to honoring, celebrating and perpetuating New Orleans jazz. Originally erected as a Spanish Tavern in the 1750s, Preservation Hall is a modest French Quarter structure. The building has no running water or air conditioning, and the only seating accomodations are six benches and a few cushions strewn about the worn wooden floor. Its raw and weather-beaten exterior remains unpainted.

A half-century later, Preservation Hall continues to ensure the cultural legacy and the future of
this beautiful tradition by allowing young and old to collaborate together. in the spirit of New Orleans, legendary and emerging artists donated their time to travel to New Orleans to record this special compilation album benefiting Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program.

Preservation was spearheaded by RED Distribution, who approached Preservation Hall for their blessing and collaboration. "We're honored to be the driving force behind a tribute to this iconic body of music and the mission to restore the legendary Preservation Hall and its Music Outreach Program," said Bob Morelli, president, RED Distribution in announcing the album. "We hope this project continues to keep philanthropy at the forefront of the music industry, and restores faith that each of us can make a difference with just the purchase of a single CD. We thank all the wonderful artists who contributed their time and talent."

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