Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from the Preservation Hall venue located in New Orleans French Quarter. The band is known for performing traditional New Orleans-style jazz.

The musicians in the groups have varied during the years since the founding of the hall in the early 1960s. Bands of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform at Preservation Hall on 726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter, and tour around the world for more than 150 days a year.

Preservation Halls doors were closed through the fall and winter of 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. Although the building remained shut until spring of 2006, the band continued to tour while the Hall was closed.

The early years - 1960s

The popularity of traditional New Orleans jazz had waned leading up to the 1960s, putting many musicians out of work. There were few jazz connoisseurs actively capturing the traditions of New Orleans jazz during this time. New Orleans Jazz historian Bill Russell led the traditional jazz revival through his persistent documenting and recording. When Allan and Sandra Jaffe transformed the 726 venue into Preservation Hall in 1961, they made it a point to integrate and highlight jazz musicians who were present during the birth of jazz through hosting nightly performances. These musicians included George Lewis, and "Sweet" Emma Barrett, who led bands under their own names.

During the time of Preservation Halls incarnation, New Orleans was a racially segregated community under Jim Crow laws. Preservation Hall was among the few venues in New Orleans that welcomed both Caucasian and African-American musicians.

The nightly jazz concerts at Preservation Hall gathered a significant amount of press interest from its inception. As time went on, Allan believed the success of both the Hall and its mission of preservation would require these bands to tour, and in 1963, he organized the newly minted Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which was essentially the Kid Thomas Band (Kid Thomas Valentine, George Lewis, Louis Nelson, Emanuel Paul, Joe James, Joe Twat Butler, and Sammy Penn). Their first string of dates were set in the midwest and included a performance at the Guthrie Theater, a venue that future Preservation Hall Jazz Bands would later record at.

The aftermath of Kid Thomas tour sparked interest in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the rediscovery of New Orleans music began stretching beyond the United States. International interest in traditional New Orleans jazz led to the Preservation Hall Jazz Bands second tour to Japan in 1964. The Japan tour featured the George Lewis Band.

During that same year, Allan sent Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band to the Guthrie Theater to record a live performance. The subsequent recording turned into The Preservation Hall Jazz Bands first record, Sweet Emma and Her Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Later Paul Barbarin and his band was a regular at Preservation Hall with Lester Santiago, John Brunious and others.

In 1967, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed at a Bill Graham production in San Francisco, CA, which featured The Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Steppenwolf (band). This Preservation Hall Jazz Band performance was led by Billie and De De Pierce and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The introduction of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to mainstream music festivals would prove to be only the beginning in future collaborations, as well as touring festival circuits.

1970s Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Duke Dejans Olympia Brass Band

Sweet Emma Barretts health began to decline in the 1970s, which forced her to step away from the touring circuit. Her leadership position was replaced by brothers, Percy (trumpet) and Willie (clarinet) Humphrey. The new Preservation Hall Jazz Band lineup included the Humphrey Brothers, Frank Demond (trombone), James Prevost (bass), James "Sing" Miller (piano), Cie Frazier (drums), Jim Robinson (trombone), Narvin Kimball (banjo), and Allan Jaffe (tuba).

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of the touring members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band were recruited by Harold Duke Dejan to join Dejans Olympia Brass Band. This New Orleans based brass band became not only a staple at Preservation Hall, but also influenced the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and future Preservation Hall musicians.

Dejans regular sidemen included the Andy Anderson (trumpet), Milton Batiste (trumpet), and Kid Sheik Cola (trumpet), Paul Crawford (trombone) and Gerald Joseph (trombone), Emanuel Paul (tenor saxophone), Andrew Jefferson (snare), and bass drummers John Smith, Henry Booker T Glass, and Glasss son Nowell Papa Glass. Cag Cagnolatti, Kid Thomas Valentine, Louis Nelson, Louis Cottrell, Jr., Cié Frazier, Emanuel Sayles, and Allan Jaffe on performing Tuba were among those who played with the group. Olympia Among the bands later recordings is the album Here Come da Great Olympia Band (Kernfeld, Schafer).

During the Olympia years, a young Harry Connick Jr. sat in with Sweet Emma and the members of the Olympia Brass Band at Preservation Hall.

In 1977, Preservation Halls Allan Jaffe teamed up with Arthur Hall and his Afro-American Dance Ensemble to release Fat Tuesday and All That Jazz! A Mardi Gras Dance Musical. The world premiere of the dance musical was presented on February 19, 1977, and was followed by a tour throughout the United States.

Dejans Olympia Brass Band was featured in Fat Tuesday and All That Jazz, in addition to the Arthur Hall Afro-American Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1980s/90s passing of the greats; continuing a tradition

"As many as 20 different bands, drawn from a pool of about 150 local musicians, had played at Preservation Hall in the 1960s, but by 1999 virtually all of the older generation of musicians had died and the band members were a mixture of younger African-American players and white musicians from overseas. Most notable among the former were Michael White (ii), Wendell Brunious (who gradually took over the leadership of Valentines band in the elder trumpeters final years, as well as the touring band), Freddie Lonzo, and the tuba player Walter Payton; Europeans included the Swedish pianist Lars Edegran, the English trumpeter Clive Wilson, Orange Kellin, and Jacques Gauthé" (Hazeldine, Kernfeld).

In 1987, Allan Jaffe passed away due to cancer. Allans son, Ben Jaffe, assumed his fathers position as Director of Preservation Hall and management of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band after graduating from Oberlin College in 1993. Ben also began touring with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, playing upright bass and tuba. He also began to instill the educational initiatives that his father developed.


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band continued to tour nationally, internationally, and at Preservation Hall in New Orleans. During this time, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was led by trumpet player, Wendell Brunious. Wendell was later replaced by his older brother, John Brunious.

In 2006, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Arts, the nations highest honor for artistic excellence. The award was presented to creative director of Preservation Hall, Benjamin Jaffe and co-founder of Preservation Hall, Sandra Jaffe, who accepted the award from President and Mrs. Laura Bush in an Oval Office ceremony on November 9, 2006. The citations read: With enormous talent and pride, this ageless ensemble has toured the world displaying the unbreakable spirit of New Orleans and sharing the joy of New Orleans jazz with us all.

Nearing Preservation Halls 45th anniversary, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band begins exploring collaborations with artist of differing genres and artistic disciplines. Examples of collaborations are seen in the Blind Boys of Alabamas Grammy Award-winning record Down in New Orleans, which features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on several tracks. New Orleans rock cabaret act The New Orleans Bingo! Show supported the touring band during their 45th anniversary.


In 2010, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band released Preservation: An Album to Benefit the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program. The album includes traditional standards and featured guest vocalists on each track. Guest artists include: Tom Waits, Andrew Bird, Pete Seeger, Dr. John, Jim James, The Del McCoury Band and many more.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band followed the release of Preservation by supporting My Morning Jacket on tour.

The record after Preservation, entitled American Legacies, was another collaboration-based project with the Del McCoury Band. This record proved to show the two distinct American roots genres of bluegrass music and traditional New Orleans jazz working together in harmony. The two groups followed up their recording with a US tour.

During this time, the Trey McIntyre Project dance ensemble collaborated with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to create Ma Maison and The Sweeter End, two contemporary dance works set to the music of New Orleans. The two ensembles toured numerous dates nationally, including performances at the Hollywood Bowl and the Lincoln Center.

In 2013, they performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, promoting their new album, That's It!.

During Coachella 2014, they performed the song Wake Up with Arcade Fire to close the festival.[1]

Preservation Hall's 50th anniversary

Preservation Hall celebrated its Golden Anniversary from 2011 to 2012. In honor of the past, present, and future, Preservation Hall produced several projects celebrating 50 years. The culminations of projects led to a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall.

Projects include:

  • Preservation Halls 50th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring "The Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Friends". Friends included Allen Toussaint, Frank Demond, Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def), Givers, Steve Earle and many others.
  • Art and Jazz: Preservation Hall at 50 - presented at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
  • Opened the "Preservation Hall at 50" exhibition at the Old US Mint in New Orleans.
  • Performed a 50th anniversary celebration at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band alongside a number of special guests, including Bonnie Raitt, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Allen Toussaint, Steve Earle, Rebirth Brass Band and more (Preservation Hall and Friends).
  • The Band became the first group to perform at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival in the same year.
  • Released two records in the same month, including a Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary Collection (Sony Legacy) and a recording of Preservation Halls 50th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall entitled St. Peter & 57th St. (Rounder Records).


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed alongside The Black Keys and Dr. John at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony.

Alphabetical lists of personnel

Current members (2013)

  • Ben Jaffe - Creative Director / sousaphone / bass
  • Mark Braud - trumpet / band leader / vocalist
  • Charlie Gabriel - clarinet / saxophone / vocalist
  • Ronell Johnson - tuba / vocalist
  • Joseph Lastie, Jr - drums
  • Freddie Lonzo - trombone / vocalist
  • Clint Maedgen - tenor saxophone / vocalist
  • Rickie Monie - piano

Previous members

A partial listing of the musicians who have played under the "Preservation Hall Jazz Band" name includes:

  • Lucien Barbarin - trombone
  • "Sweet Emma" Barrett - pianist
  • Carl Le Blanc - banjo
  • [Paul Barbarin] - Drums
  • [Lester Santiago] - Piano
  • John Brunious - trumpeter
  • Wendell Brunious - trumpeter
  • Greg Stafford - trumpeter
  • Albert Burbank - clarinetist
  • Raymond Burke - clarinetist
  • Maynard Chatters - trombonist
  • Kid Sheik Colar - trumpeter
  • Manny Crusto (Manuel Mitchell Crusto) - clarinetist (died March 18, 2002 at age 83)
  • Frank Demond - trombone
  • Lars Edegran - Piano
  • Josiah "Cie" Frazier - drummer
  • Percy Humphrey - trumpeter
  • Willie Humphrey - clarinetist
  • Allan Jaffe - tuba player
  • Ralph H. Johnson, Sr. - clarinet (d. 7 December 2009)
  • Leroy Jones - trumpet
  • Jeanette Kimball - pianist
  • Narvin Kimball - banjo player
  • George Lewis - clarinetist
  • Punch Miller - trumpeter
  • Sing Miller - pianist
  • Louis Nelson - trombonist
  • Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau - bass player
  • Walter Payton - double bass
  • Billie Pierce - pianist
  • De De Pierce - trumpeter and cornetist
  • Shannon Powell - drums
  • James Prevost - bass
  • Joseph Robichaux - pianist
  • Jim Robinson - trombonist
  • Emanuel Sayles - banjo player
  • Kid Thomas Valentine - trumpeter
  • Papa Don Vappie - banjo
  • Mari Watanabe - piano
  • Dr. Michael White -clarinetist


  • 2006 National Medal of Arts
  • 2013 NAACP Image Award for Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary Collection


  • 1964 Sweet Emma and Her Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 1966 Billie and De De Pierce and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 1977 New Orleans, Vol. 1
  • 1982 New Orleans, Vol. 2
  • 1982 When the Saints Go Marchin' In (New Orleans, Vol. 3)
  • 1987 New Orleans, Vol. 4
  • 1989 The Best of Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 1992 Live
  • 1996 In the Sweet Bye and Bye
  • 1997 Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans, LA
  • 1998 Because of You
  • 2001 Marching Down Bourbon Street
  • 2004 Preservation Hall Hot 4 with Duke Dejan
  • 2004 Shake That Thing
  • 2005 Sweet Emma (Re-release)
  • 2005 Songs of New Orleans
  • 2005 Best of the Early Years
  • 2006 Preservation Hall - Live at the 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • 2007 The Essential Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 2007 Hurricane Sessions
  • 2009 New Orleans Preservation, Vol. 1
  • 2009 Billie and De De and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Digital Re-release)
  • 2009 St. Peter Street Serenade (Digital)
  • 2009 Here come the great Olympia Band (Digital Re-release)
  • 2010 Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program
  • 2010 Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Tom Waits 78 Limited Edition Vinyl[2]
  • 2011 American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 2012 St. Peter & 57th St.
  • 2012 Preservation Hall Jazz Band Live at Carnegie Hall Limited Edition Vinyl
  • 2012 Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary Collection
  • 2013 That's It!


  1. ArcadeFireTube. Twitter (April 14, 2013). Retrieved on April 14, 2013.
  2. Floorwalker, Mike. 10 Music Recordings for the Insanely Determined. Retrieved on 21 June 2013.


  • William Carter. Preservation Hall: Music from the Heart, 1991. ISBN 0-393-02915-8
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band reunites in NYC Associated Press,, September 21, 2005. Retrieved July 24, 2008
  • Kernfeld, Schafer, Barry, William. Olympia Brass Band. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. Retrieved on 27 March 2013.
  • Hazeldine, Kernfeld, Mike, Barry. Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. Retrieved on March 27, 2013.

External links

  • History of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Preservation Hall Official site
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band Daytrotter Session
  • Letterman Performance Information
This page was last modified 14.04.2014 07:44:12

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