Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
[Here is the text of my "spotlight" piece as it appeared in the January 2012 print edition of Vanity Fair. This is only a teaser! The full 4600-word piece is on the VF website and iPad apps with music, photos, bells and whistles. Check the link at the end of this post.]
It is arguably the best-known address in New Orleans: 726 St. Peter Street, even better known as Preservation Hall. Since its opening day, June 10, 1961, more than two million people have walked through its gate, including presidents, prime ministers, movie stars, and rock idols. Every night, tourists and locals form long lines to pony up the $12 entrance fee and sit on rough wooden benches and threadbare cushions in a musty, un-air-conditioned, 31-by-20-foot room. The attraction? Three sets of traditional New Orleans jazz played by five to seven musicians in black suits, white shirts, and black ties. The place and the routine are exactly as they were in the 60s, but some things have changed: the all-black bands are now racially mixed; the average age of the players is considerably younger; the crowds are much bigger. The most amazing thing is that this music—rooted in blues, ragtime, and march- es from the turn of the 20th century—is still being played at all. Before the hall was launched, in a former art gallery, the aging ranks of the city’s black jazz musicians seemed headed for extinction. Under the skillful man- agement of Pennsylvania transplants Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Preservation Hall soon gave these old jazzmen and their music a new lease on life and ultimately turned the nickel-and-dime-kitty hall—where the band played for tips dropped into a wicker basket—into a thriving business. But as the end nears for this golden-anniversary year—marked by major exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the old U.S. Mint museum, a spate of publications, and a series of high-profile concerts around the country—the current keepers of the flame face daunting questions: With all of the original musicians dead and gone, an aging audience base, and a popular culture invested more in hip-hop than in old-time jazz, what are you preserving? And how long can you keep it up? Ben Jaffe, 40, son of the founders, has an optimistic answer: “This anniversary is about the next 50 years.”
For the full-blown version, follow this link:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Wednesday, February 15: Palm Court, 1206 Decatur Street 7:30 - 10:30 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars Featuring Topsy Champan, vocals.
Wednesday, February 21— MARDI GRAS: Norwegian Seamen's Church, Prytania Street, noon to 2 pm with Lars Edegran and Seva Venet.
Sunday, February 26: Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, 8 - 11 pm. With Lars Edegran's All Stars.
Wednesday, February 29: Palm Court, 1206 Decatur Street 7:30 - 10:30 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars Featuring Topsy Champan, vocals.
Sunday, March 4: Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, 8 - 11 pm. With Tommy Sancton's New Orleans Legacy Band.
Sunday, March 11: Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, 8 - 11 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars.
Wednesday, March 14: Palm Court, 1206 Decatur Street 7:30 - 10:30 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars Featuring Topsy Champan, vocals.
Thursday, March 16: In concert with Classic Jazz Trio. Details to be announced.
Sunday, March 18: Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, 8 - 11 pm. With Tommy Sancton's New Orleans Legacy Band.
Wednesday, March 21: "Song For My Fathers" stage show with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade, 8 p.m. Kickoff event of Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.
Sunday, March 25: Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, 8 - 11 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars
Wednesday, March 28: Palm Court, 1206 Decatur Street 7:30 - 10:30 pm. With Lars Edegran All Stars Featuring Topsy Champan, vocals.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Took my New Orleans Legacy Band to Great Falls, Montana on Saturday, September 10, for a sellout show in the historic Ozark Club. The crowd was wonderfully receptive to our traditional jazz sound, even thoughMontana is a long way from the French Quarter. The show included some readings from my memoir, Song for My Fathers, and a hard-driving musical program featuring tunes like "Original Dixieland One-Step," "Panama," "Weary Blues," "Somebody Stole My Gal," "West End Blues," and "That's a Plenty," among others, many of which are featured on our recent CD, City of a Million Dreams. (Featured in the band photo, from left to right: Richard Moten, bass; Clive Wilson, trumpet; yours truly, clarinet; Lars Edegran, piano; Jason Marsalis, drums; Ronell Johnson, trombone and vocal. Photo courtesy of Paul Snyder.)
Monday, August 22, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12: Palm Court, 1206 Decatur Street. With Lars Edegran All Stars featuring vocalist Topsy Chapman.