Music : Preservation Hall turns Tabernacle into New Orleans
Images of an intimate, atmospheric New Orleans jazz hall will be conjured up this Friday at the Campground Tabernacle when the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs its authentic-style New Orleans jazz.
Preservation Hall, the cradle of America's jazz since the early 19th century, is located in the French Quarter, just blocks from the Mississippi River. It was a private house in 1750, a tavern in 1812, and then an art gallery whose owner, Larry Borenstein, began holding informal jam sessions for close friends. Out of these sessions grew Preservation Hall.
The landmark opened its doors in 1961 under the auspices of New Orleans founders, Allan and Sandra Jaffe, who created the venue as a place that would insure the purity of New Orleans jazz. Many of the band's charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early 20th century, including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson.
No modern amenities. No drinks or food. Nothing to distract from the musicians; the focus is solely on the music. The Jaffe's son, 36-year-old bassist, Ben Jaffe, now manages the Hall and the roster of close to 40 musicians that comprise Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Its history seems to infuse as well as preserve its sound as the group tours around the world. It will be in joyful evidence at the Tabernacle this Friday.
Band members at the Tabernacle included Clint Meadgen, on clarinet, sax and vocals; Mark Braud on Trumpet; Freddie Lonzo on trombone; Joe Lastle on Drums; Walter Payton on bass and vocals; Eliot "Stackman" Caller on tenor sax and Rickie Monie on piano.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band offers audiences a full compliment of old style jazz, full throttle, raspy trumpet solos, bouncy rhythms, Creole lyrics, as well as early Delta blues akin to Lead Belly, Robert Johnson and the music of the pre-Civil War South.
On Friday, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be reconnecting Islanders to the country's first original art form - jazz.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Friday, August 15, 8 pm. Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs. $20; $35 limited premium seating. Tickets will be on sale at the door to benefit the Tabernacle Restoration and Program Funds.