Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Crescent City Stomp featuring PHJB at The McKittrick Hotel! Jan 2-5 in NYC

Just added!  The McKittrick Hotel(site of  Sleep No More) has just announced a very special New York City performance featuring The Preservation Hall Jazz Band along with a few guests from New Orleans - The Crescent City Stomp.

"Direct from New Orleans, and on the way to their sold-out 50th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall , the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will make a brief stop at the McKittrick Hotel, immediately following the performances of Sleep No More on January 2nd - 5th, for what promises to be an incredible night of dancing, food, and special-guest performances.

Space is extremely limited in the Hotel for this very special event but, as a guest of the McKittrick, you have the first shot at tickets. If you don't want to miss out on what will be a legendary Sleep No More afterparty, be the first to click on the poster below."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NBC New York spotlights PHJB's Golden Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Throw Themselves A Party 

By Michael Tedder



Since 1961 the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been keeping the tradition of boisterous New Orleans jazz alive, one boogie-fortified, horn-blaring performance at a time.
One suspects that the Preservation gentlemen are constantly coming up with excuses to throw a party, but their current blowout seems especially justified. On Jan. 7 the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will celebrate their 50th "Golden" Anniversary with a performance at Carnegie Hall that's apparently several years in the making.
"I started thinking about the anniversary shortly after we celebrated our 45th Anniversary back in 2006," says Ben Jaffe, creative director and tuba player. "I've been laying down the groundwork for the show for almost 18 months. Ultimately, I want the evening to be a memorable night of music."
The Jazz Band started as a touring outlet for the group of musicians that gathered at New Orleans Preservation Hall, an unretouched, un-air conditioned building which has been around since 1812 and has previously served as a tavern and photo gallery. Jaffe's parents, Allan and Sandra, founded the band 50 years ago, and he credits Preservation's longevity to not mucking up a good thing.
"We're like a pot of red beans and rice. No matter what day of the week, no matter how many times you've eaten them... they're always delicious when the right person is cooking them," he says. "Preservation Hall, no matter where we travel in the world, we connect with our audiences. I don't know exactly what it is, but people universally can't sit still when we play. They have to move or dance or bounce or sing. That's something you still find in New Orleans today, people dance to jazz."
The Hall's brand of rice and beans has proven to be quiet durable and beloved.
For the Carnegie performance the Band will be joined by a wide spectrum of guests including My Morning JacketMos DefAllen Toussaint, Trey McIntyre Project, Steve Earle, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Del McCoury Band, Trombone Shorty, GIVERSBlind Boys of Alabama, Tao Seeger and even actor Ed Helms.
"We have lots of friends who play lots of styles of music, the whole spectrum. I think that's one of the amazing about what we do.  We all share a love, respect and deep appreciation for New Orleans music and culture," says Jaffe. "To me, it doesn't seem that strange. If Mos Def were alive 100 years ago, he'd be singing with Jelly Roll Morton! Artists have an honest respect for Preservation Hall.  There aren't that many, if any, institutions to compare Preservation Hall to. We are directly connected to the first days of jazz."
The "Golden" 50th Anniversary show (taking place in their 51st year, technically, but let's not pick nits) is a big undertaking for Jaffe, but he says it's only the start of a year-long celebration.
"We have a whole year's worth of projects on the table. We recently opened a retrospective exhibit in New Orleans titled 'Preservation Hall at 50.' We are going to be recording this year as well as touring the country and the world," he says.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview with Ben in Greensboro's YES! Weekly

Pres. Hall Leader on Big Easy Christmas
by Ryan Snyder
YES! Weekly

For all that hurricanes and oil spills can take away, tradition isn’t among them. At least not while institutions like Preservation Hall exists. After a series of commemorative shows at home, the famed jazz club’s house band is preparing to celebrate 50 years as the standard bearers for New Orleans jazz by doing what they do best: hitting the road for a special performance at Carnegie Hall in January. Until then, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is evangelizing other Big Easy musical traditions with their Creole Holiday tour, coming to SECCA in Winston-Salem this Friday. Below, Preservation Hall Cre- ative Director and tuba player extraordinaire Ben Jaffe, son of hall founder Allan Jaffe, waxes on NOLA holiday traditions influenc- ing seasonal music and how relationships formed during the recording of the band’s 2010 benefit album have shaped the institutions future.

Ben Jaffe: It’s a chance for us to share this very unique New Orleans experience with the audience, to celebrate the way we do there, which is with music and of course food. We can’t cook for everyone though unfortunately. What’s considered a tradi- tional Christmas celebration in other cities is a lot different than how we celebrate here. I mean, we still have all of our leaves on our trees. I’m eating a grapefruit right now that I picked from my backyard this morning. Eating gumbo, that’s always a tradition for us and my family always went swimming on Christmas Day. A lot of those little nuances are reflected in the music we play during the holidays.

Y!W: It seems it’s slowly getting easier to enjoy some of those traditions again.

BJ: You would think it’s not even the same city in many ways that it was six years ago. The city’s doing great. We’re experienc- ing what I like to think of as a renaissance of sorts. One of the things the hurricane did for New Orleans is that is brought so much awareness to our city that it created a huge influx of youth and artistic minds that bring a lot of new perspectives.

Y!W: Does that make your mission of preserving the city’s musical heritage a little muddier?

BJ: I don’t think so. The tradition that Preservation Hall is a part of is so intertwined into the fabric of our city that it can’t die. New Orleans without red beans and rice ain’t New Orleans anymore. We have certain things that make us who we are and one of those things and our con nection to the earliest days of American mu- sic. Whether it’s Fats Domino, the Meters or Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Preservation Hall, we all share a common language that only people from New Orleans understand. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about New Orleans and that it evolves. I definitely see people who come to the city absorbing the musical culture and also bringing their own influences. That’s one of the responsibilities of the torchbearers to understand that nobody’s a creative island.

Y!W: Preservation Hall has been really visible in other musical spheres since the benefit album. Is that because of opportunity or are you taking a more aggressive approach to putting the band out there?

BJ: After the hurricane there was a heightened awareness of exactly what it was that made New Orleans such an important cultural center. That’s something as a nation that we all feel connected to. I really think that every human being yearns for things that are special about our history. I think that New Orleans exemplifies a lot of things that we’ve lost in our country; this idea of family and community, this idea of children following in the footsteps of their parents, and of family businesses and businesses that have been around for hundreds of years I always look for the bigger message in what we do because you can just break it down and say that we’re just seven guys who play music, but at the end of the day, that’s not what we are.

Everyone in our band comes from a multi- generational musical family and actually there are guys in our band who are seventh- generation New Orleans musicians. Seven generations. Their families have been playing music in New Orleans since the 1850s. You can’t find that anywhere else.

Y!W: It seemed that the most fruitful partnership to come of the benefit album was with My Morning Jacket. What was it about working with Jim James that works so well?

BJ: The best thing to do is tell you about the first time I met Jim after he came to New Orleans to record on that benefit album. Maybe I have a different sensibility, but when I meet people I immediately know that there’s a connection. Jim and I immediately had a very, very deep connection when we met at Pres Hall. I knew that we listened to the same music and walked the same walk. We live in different worlds but we share an appreciation and respect for good people and elders and tradition. Jim is carrying on a great American tradition which is the rock tradition. And what a brave statement that is: to be afforded the opportunity by a band who could ask any group in the world to open for them, but say, “We want to bring the Preser- vation Hall Jazz Band into stadiums.”
Preservation Hall HJAzz Band comes to SECCA on Friday.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preservation Hall featured in January edition of Vanity Fair - Article by Tom Sancton

Available in stores now, the January edition of Vanity Fair features "Hall That Jazz," written by New Orleans' own Tom Sancton.   Mr. Sancton gives an insiders glimpse on  both past and present perspectives on Preservation Hall

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Preservation Hall Adds Special Guests to 50th Anniversary Show at Carnegie Hall including My Morning Jacket, Del McCoury Band, Trombone Shorty, GIVERS, Allen Toussaint, Blind Boys of Alabama, Tao Seeger, and Mos Def

Preservation Hall Jazz Band is pleased to announce the special guests that will join them on stage for their 50th anniversary performance.  On January 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm they will grace the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, with special guests My Morning Jacket, Del McCoury Band, Trombone Shorty, GIVERS, Allen Toussaint, Blind Boys of Alabama, Tao Seeger, & Mos Def

Tickets for what is bound to be an unforgettable night go on sale December 2nd and are available at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th street and 7th avenue.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music. 

The group manages to evoke the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.  Along the way, they have brought in collaborators of all musical stripes to play, honor, and reinterpret America’s first true art form.  The PHJB have played and recorded with artists like Tom Waits, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco and My Morning Jacket.  Their most recent collaboration has been with the Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit, the Del McCoury Band, with whom they released a joint album earlier this year titled American Legacies.

The Louisiana State Museum also just launched a major exhibition celebrating Preservation Hall’s 50th anniversary at the Old U.S. Mint.  Co-curated by Preservation Hall and the Museum, Preservation Hall at 50, tells the story of the venue’s history through artifacts, photographs, film and audio clips, as well as interviews and oral histories.  The exhibit is open now and will run through 2012.

This concert is presented by The Bowery Presents.

PHJB and Del McCoury Band's "I'll Fly Away" chosen as #5 top song of 2011 in Pop Matters


Preservation Hall Jazz Band & The Del McCoury Band
“I’ll Fly Away”

Sarah Zupko, December 5th 2011

I’ll Fly Away” is a tune with a long history in American music; it’s a standard for New Orleans brass bands playing at jazz funerals, it’s heavily favored by gospel musicians, and has been a standard part of the bluegrass repertoire for decades. In other words, it’s thoroughly soaked in Americana, that catch-all genre that pulls from traditional American roots music forms. So, it was a perfect song for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band to make as the centerpiece of their stellar 2011 album, American Legacies. Despite all the superb versions of this song over the years, Pres Hall and the McCoury Boys virtually stamp this classic as their very own, offering up the definitive version to stand for the ages. Soaring trumpet, swirling clarinet, soulful lead vocals, airtight bluegrass harmonies, rhythmic banjo… this is Americana at its very finest. Sarah Zupko