Friday, May 11, 2012

Jazz Fest Season 2012: TOP 10 MOMENTS

Everyone at the Hall is in ecstatic shock to the overwhelming love and support we've been receiving over the past couple of weeks. We are relieved that the chaos from the festival season is over, but we are on the edges of our seats to see the receding effects. In the mean time, the Hall family would love to share with you our top 10 moments during this Jazz Fest season, 2012.

1. Lionel Ferbos and Wendell Eugene perform with the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band at Jazz Fest

Sometimes the saying, 'history repeats itself' can be taken as a true gift of time and human potential. I witnessed this on the side of the Gentilly stage as 100 year old Lionel Ferbos (trumpet) and 89 year old Wendell Eugene (Trombone) joined the PHJB and the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band to help close out the show. Watching from the side of the stage, I was witnessing the true life cycle of traditional New Orleans' music. After the show, one of Ferbos' family members said that he has been playing music for over 83 years now. Lionel and Wendell's performing history only makes me think of the potential vitality that exists in all of the Junior Jazz Band players. The thought is overwhelming and comforting at the same time.

2. George Wein with the PHJB opening the Gentilly performance with Basin Street Blues

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival founder, George Wein helped open the PHJB's Gentilly performance. Although Preservation Hall is celebrating 50 years, our hats go off to George Wein, who has facilitated Jazz events for over 50 years nation wide. When jazz is in need of a spot light, George collectivizes and presents the art form like no other producer. Thank you Mr. Wein.

3. The Times Picayune-'Global Force'

The entire Pres Hall family was exhausted the day after the PHJB closed out Jazz Fest, until we saw this very flattering front page spread on Monday's issue of The Times-Picayune. This front page spread was revitalizing and goes to show that doing the right things for the right reasons, combined with hard work, always proves to be eternally triumphant.

4. Theresa Andersson's Midnight Preserves performance of 'Japanese Art'

We do not have footage of Theresa Andersson with the Hall Band, but I can tell you that her set was magical and complimenting. The Hall family was most impressed by her song, 'Japanese Art.'

5. Ivan Neville's performance of 'Down By the Riverside' at The Preservation Hall Crescent City Revue

Ivan Neville brought his energy and skills to the joy theater with his rendition of 'Down By the Riverside.'

6. Steve Earle's Midnight Preserves performance of 'This City'

Although we do not have any footage of Steve Earle's Midnight Preserves performance, one of the Hall Family's favorite highlights was witnessing Steve's version of 'This City' backed by the PHJB. 

7. Danny Clinch 'Silver and Brass Exhibit' at Preservation Hall

Our good friend, Danny Clinch, performed at the Hall twice with his band, the Tangiers Blues Band, during our Midnight Preserves showcase. Before the performance we displayed Danny's favorite New Orleans and Hall related photos in the Hall's Carriage way.

View Danny Clinch Photo's HERE

“I could feel the spirit of all the music that passed through there,” photographer and musician Danny Clinch said of the first time he entered the Preservation Hall in New Orleans. "I immediately started taking photographs." And he hasn't stopped since 2005.

8. New Birth Brass Band's tribute to the great Olympia Brass Band

During Jazz Fest, New Birth Birth Brass Band paid tribute to the great Olympia Brass Band. The energy of New Birth bled through the ancient floors of the Hall and brought forth a spirit connecting the audience in a way that only a few a handful of brass bands can muster.

Photo by John McCusker
I was helping out backstage on the Gentilly Stage during the PHJB's closing performance. Most of the viewing audience were blown away by the guest performers, but my sights were dead set on Ronell Johnson, a true tuba rock star. Not only does Ronell blast clear and defined bass lines through such a large brass instrument, but he also jumps up and down while playing, sways his left arm back and forth, and dance marches as if he were in a second line. Ronell played this way the entire show and proved to leave a devastating mark in the audience's spirits. Can somebody get this man a towel?

10. This David Lee Roth-esque photo of Ronnie Numbers from the New Orleans BINGO! Show

Photo by Dino Perrucci
Need I say more?

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