Friday, April 22, 2011

"Art & Jazz:Preservation Hall at 50" Exhibit opens next week at the Ogden!

On April 28, 2011, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans will open Art & Jazz: Preservation Hall at 50.  The exhibit is an insider's and impressionistic view of this famed New Orleans jazz hall. Founded in 1961 by Sandra and Allan Jaffe, Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have exposed the world to traditional New Orleans jazz, and have played an integral part in keeping this music and its traditions vibrant and relevant in the 21st century.
            The French Quarter building that is Preservation Hall housed many businesses and residents over the years, including a tavern during in the 1800s, “Pops” Whitesell's photo studio, author Erle Stanley Gardner, and an art gallery. It was during the years of the art gallery that then owner, Larry Borenstein, began holding informal jam sessions for his close friends. Out of these sessions grew the concept of Preservation Hall.
            This exhibition delves into the Jaffe family and Preservation Hall archives, showcasing the roots of the art inspired by the hall and its musicians, including work by Noel Rockmore, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Lee Friedlander and Barry Kaiser. Personal photographs of the Jaffe family, including Ben Jaffe (currently the Creative Director of the hall and the band) and Preservation Hall musicians illustrate how they are intertwined with each other and the French Quarter. Vintage music instruments show the wear and tear of a musician's life, while audio recordings and film document a time and place that has passed, but also embraces the hall's and band's contemporary roots.
            This exhibition hopes to bring viewers an innovative and personal look at a music hall and band that continues to play an important cultural role in the city and the world.
            Art & Jazz: Preservation Hall at 50 is the first in a series of exhibitions celebrating Preservation Hall's 50th anniversary. This fall, the Louisiana State Museum will open a retrospective about the hall and the band in the Old U.S. Mint in New Orleans.

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