Musician Spotlight

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

In 1961, a young tuba player named Allan Jaffe and his wife Sandra took over the recently established Preservation Hall in the French Quarter and turned it into a world-renowned home for traditional New Orleans jazz. After years of inactivity, old-timers who had once played with Louis Armstrong and Papa Celestin found a new forum for their music as well as an enthusiastic new audience. Preservation Hall remains an important landmark on the New Orleans music scene.

Every night of the week, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays traditional New Orleans jazz before delighted crowds of tourists and locals, and the band’s record- ings form an important document of the ongoing history of “trad jazz.” The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, now directed by Allan and Sandra’s son Ben, tours the world bringing traditional New Orleans jazz to appreciative international audiences.

In 2015, Preservation Hall Jazz Band visited Cuba in an effort to uncover the island’s common musical heritage and the roots of New Orleans jazz. The trip resulted in a documentary film and album called A Tuba to Cuba, which were released to acclaim in 2019. As a modern reunion between Cuba and New Orleans, the song “Kreyol,” (an alternative Louisiana and Caribbean spelling of “Creole”) from that album, offers a great coda to this collection.

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