Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 at the FAC
The Gazette’s interview with Preservation Hall Jazz Band creative director Ben Jaffe really got to the heart of what’s so special about this musical treasure from New Orleans. Here’s a portion of the article:
Preservation Hall was originally an art gallery in the 1950s, Jaffe said. Its owner started holding jam sessions, though he called them “rehearsals” as a way to circumvent the Jim Crow laws that prevented blacks and whites from socializing or interacting in certain ways. Jaffe’s parents discovered the gallery in 1961, and were handpicked by the owner to own and operate it as a new music hall.
“My parents gravitated here,” he said, “and became part of a group of people interested in New Orleans jazz and aging African-American musicians, many of which were pioneers of jazz. They were giving them a home, a place to perform where they received the respect that their art deserved. That was a revolutionary idea. That’s what my parents walked into.”
His father died when Jaffe was 16; Jaffe assumed duties of the hall in 1995 after graduating from Oberlin College’s Conservatory of Music in 1993.