Preservation Hall and New Orleans & Company have announced a benefit gala concert to mark the jazz band and concert hall’s 60th anniversary.
“New Orleans is a city of musical royalty,” said Ben Jaffe, creative director and chairman of the board of Preservation Hall and son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe. “Many of the Hall’s musicians who perform today can trace their family history back to the birth of jazz. Preservation Hall was established to honor these important African American families and their gift to the world.
To mark the six-decade milestone and celebrate the triumphant resilience of New Orleans music, Preservation Hall will produce a star-studded event to raise funds for the Preservation Hall Foundation. The show will feature four generations of Preservation Hall’s musical masters who represent the continuing connection to the source of American music for which the Hall was created. Performers will include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, members of the Preservation Hall Collective and a wide range of renowned speakers and surprise musical guests reflecting the legacy, history and influence of this iconic venue.
Jaffe added, “To celebrate Preservation Hall’s sixtieth anniversary, we pay tribute to these musical torchbearers who embody this centuries-old tradition. These musicians not only represent New Orleans, they are the world’s stewards of the important and treasured tradition that is passed down from generation to generation.
Founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Preservation Hall sought to give a home to traditional New Orleans music at a time when it mostly survived on the streets of the neighborhood. Integrated from its inception at the Jim Crow South, the Hall has always been a place where black and white musicians could perform together for black and white audiences. It quickly became a hallowed stage for music luminaries, from Sweet Emma, Percy and Willie Humphrey, and George Lewis in the 1960s to sixties of the city’s most beloved and noted musicians today.
Preservation Hall reopened its sacred doors for live concerts on June 10, 2021, 60 years to the day, the Jaffes opened the historic French Quarter Hall at 726 Saint Peter Street. The room had been closed for the previous 15 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
For years, Preservation Hall has hosted Midnight Preserves, a late-night benefit concert for the Preservation Hall Foundation held annually during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The series welcomes leading guest artists from a variety of genres and backgrounds alongside the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for intimate midnight concerts. Former guests included Robert Plant, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Irma Thomas, Jimmy Buffett, The Head and The Heart, Dave Grohl, Jon Batiste, My Morning Jacket, PJ Morton and others.
While guest performers aren’t announced until they reach the stage, collaborations with chart-topping and international artists ensure audiences will remember the aura of these performances for a lifetime. 60th Anniversary Gala goers can expect the same special guest stature as previous Midnight Preserves shows.
The Foundation was launched in 2011 to honor and embody the ethics and intrinsic practices of the Hall. It protects, preserves and perpetuates the music of New Orleans by engaging and supporting musicians; provide support and services to older members of the collective; preserve and share the archives and spaces of jazz music; provide educational experiences for students, families and the general public; and providing grants to recognize merit and / or alleviate need. which currently focuses on serving the more than 60 musicians who perform regularly at the Hall and offers free online music educational resources, Lessons in the conservation room, to teachers and students across the country. For more information, go here.
“The music of our city is in our blood and Preservation Hall has inspired musicians and individuals for the past 60 years,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “It is the people of New Orleans who create the culture, and as a business and community partner, we strive to ensure that the tourism industry benefits all residents. The work the Preservation Hall Foundation does to support our musicians aligns directly with our goal of always nurturing and supporting the culture of our city. We are proud to partner with them at this great event to celebrate this monumental anniversary and congratulate the work they do throughout the year.
For the benefit gala, doors will open at 8:00 p.m. CT and the show will begin at 9:00 p.m. CT. The event will be produced by Winter Circle Productions. For more information, visit prehallfoundation.org.
The will take place at 9:00 p.m. CT on Friday, October 8, 2021 at the Orpheum Theater. All proceeds from the event will fund the Preservation Hall Foundation’s mission to “Protect, Preserve and Perpetuate the Music and Culture of New Orleans.” Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Central on Friday, July 23, 2021 at this link.