Monday, November 15, 2010

Tom Waits with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on 78 - On Sale This FRIDAY at Preservation Hall!

For Sale This Friday at Preservation Hall,
726 St. Peter Street / NOLA 70116
from 10:00am - 5:00pm Central Standard Time

On Friday, this special recording, 
benefiting The Preservation Hall Junior Jazz and Heritage Brass Band, 
will be available for in-person purchase only.  
Please visit for online sales
beginning at 12:01am CST on Saturday, October 20th.

At no time will we be accepting orders by phone!

This very special 78RPM recording will be available at two donation tiers:
$50 for the recording on its own,
$200 for the recording packaged with a limited edition record player
celebrating Preservation Hall's 50th anniversary.
(turntable plays 78, 45, and 33 and features USB out)

While the 78s are signed and numbered by Ben Jaffe, we will not honor requests for specific numbers.  The numbered 78 you receive will be by luck of the draw, only.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Very Special Celebration and Second Line for Walter Payton, Jr. (1942-2010)




Saturday, November 20, 2010 – 10:30am

On Thursday, October 28, 2010, the city of New Orleans lost a great man and a wonderful musician.  The world will not be the same without Walter Payton Jr.  Please join us at Preservation Hall on Saturday, November 20 at 10:30am as we pay tribute to the life and times of Walter Payton.  After a short memorial service, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform a very special Secondline through the French Quarter, down St. Claude Ave., and past McDonough 15 where Walt taught music for many years.

About Walter Payton:
Born and raised in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhoods, Walter’s first brushes with Preservation Hall came in the early sixties when Allan Jaffe would lend him his sousaphone for gigs with the Eureka, Apollo, and Olympia Brass Bands.  After receiving advanced instruction from Robert Rohe at Xavier College, Walter went on to perform on several hit records, including Lee Dorsey’s “Working in a Coal Mine” and Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is.”  Walter Payton also served as a teacher in the New Orleans public school system for twenty-five years, where he had the opportunity to instruct a young Ben Jaffe in the ways of the bass.

A Second Line and Celebration for our Friend

Walter Payton Jr.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Memorial Service at 10:30 AM

Second Line Parade at 11:00 AM
Beginning at Preservation Hall / 726 St. Peter Street
Parade will begin at 726 St. Peter Street at 11:00am.
Parade will march from Preservation Hall,
Turn Right on Bourbon Street,
Turn Left on Barracks Street
Turn Left on St. Claude,
Turn Left on St. Philip Street,
Pause in front of McDonough 15 School, 721 St. Phillip Street,
Right on Royal Street,
Left on St. Ann,
Right at Jackson Square (crossing St. Louis Cathedral)
Right on St. Peter Street,
Finishing at Preservation Hall – 726 St. Peter Street.

~Please join us in celebrating the life of our dear friend~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Preservation Hall's 5th Annual Creole Christmas Celebration

It's Time to Deck The Hall!
Tickets are available NOW - Click the poster to get yours!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mourning the Passing of the Great Walter Payton

Walter Payton, longtime New Orleans jazz bassist and educator, dies at 68
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 9:06 PM
Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune 

Walter Payton Jr., the genial bassist who anchored the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and shaped generations of public school students, died Thursday at Kindred Hospital-New Orleans following a lengthy illness. He was 68.

 He grew up on Annunciation Street. As a boy, he played sousaophone and dismissed his grandmother's suggestion that he take up the string bass. "Naw, I don't see nothing but old men playing those things," he said, recalling the scene in a 2008 interview. "I don't want to do that."

But on Easter 1958, he attended a performance at the Municipal Auditorium by James Moody and Ellis Marsalis' New Orleans Jazz Quintet. "The bass players in both groups, they were having so much fun," he said. "More fun than anyone else in the band. There were literally dancing with their basses."

He was sold on the instrument. Decades later, he described its appeal. The upright bass is "shaped just like a lady," he said, laughing. "The hips, the waist. And the best thing is, she don't do nothing you don't tell her to. She don't talk back. If you press her in the right place, she says just what you want her to say. And no more."

Other than a brief time spent working in the cafeteria of Xavier University, he made a living in music. After graduating from Xavier with a degree in music education, he spent the next 25 years teaching in the New Orleans public school system. During his years at McDonogh 15 elementary in the French Quarter, he taught music and organized the school band; in the '70s, he conducted the young band at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

He influenced many aspiring musicians, including his future boss, Preservation Hall creative director Ben Jaffe. “When I was his student – and I still consider myself his student – Walter was a bit scary,” Jaffe once recalled. “But he had a lasting impact on me. He instilled in me a respect for music.”

Throughout his teaching career, Mr. Payton also worked as a professional musician in a variety of settings. He marched with various brass bands, including the Eureka, Olympia. Treme and Apollo. He made his debut at Preservation Hall in 1965 and worked at the old Dew Drop Inn and the original Blue Room at the Fairmont Hotel.

After retiring from the school system in 1991, he plunged headlong into the life of a fulltime musician. With his Snap Bean and Gumbo File combos and with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, he traveled the globe. “I love being on the road,” Mr. Payton said in 2008. “I love it, love it, love it.”

Along the way he performed at Carnegie Hall, accompanied symphony orchestras and backed Robert Parker, Nancy Wilson, Harry Connick Jr., Clark Terry, Doc Paulin, the king of Thailand, and many more. He contributed to his son Nicholas' 2001 Louis Armstrong tribute "Dear Louis."

Mr. Patyon was a robust man who at one point was an avid kick-boxer and martial arts practitioner. Married four times, he was quick with a sly smile and an even slyer line.

“He always used to say to girls, ‘When did you leave heaven? You’re so beautiful,’” recalled Michael Paz, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's road manager.

Mr. Payton suffered a stroke in January while in Washington D.C. on tour with Preservation Hall. He eventually returned to New Orleans, but never recovered sufficiently to return to the road. He had been in and out of hospitals for several months.

“I saw him a couple days ago, and he spoke to me a little, which he hadn’t done the last few times I saw him,” Paz said.

He is missed.