Guelph, ON February 24, 2015 – A warm burst of New Orleans jazz is exactly what the Canadian music lover’s soul could use right about now. On Sunday, March 15, 2015 the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will breeze into Guelph, bringing its lively, upbeat and larger-than-life touring show River Run Centre’s Main Stage, with a mix of standards and original pieces. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. and is presented as part of this season’s Richardson GMP Music Series.
Allan and Sandra Jaffe founded the Preservation Hall (and planted the seeds for its namesake band, which would come two years later) in 1961 as a means of preserving and perpetuating traditional New Orleans jazz. Legendary players like George Lewis, Sweet Emma Barrett and Kid Thomas Valentine were among its original stars. Despite New Orleans jazz coming in and out of vogue over the years – waxing and waning with contemporary tastes – the Preservation Hall remained stalwart, hosting nightly concerts that kept the music alive, and helped to foster its continued progression.
In its over half century-long history the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has featured dozens of some of the finest jazz musicians Louisiana has to offer, and has released over 30 albums. In its current incarnation the band includes tuba and bass player Ben Jaffe, the son of Preservation Hall founders Sandra and Allan. Jaffe, who also acts as musical director, is joined in the current Preservation Jazz Hall Band lineup by Mark Braud (trumpet, band leader, vocalist), Charlie Gabriel (clarinet, vocals… and an octogenarian who still ‘brings it’ to every performance), Ronnell Johnson (tuba, vocals), Joe Lastie Jr. (drums), Clint Maedgen (saxophone, vocals), and Rickie Monie (piano).
In recent years the band – and indeed, New Orleans jazz in general – enjoyed renewed admiration. After Hurricane Katrina commandeered the world’s television screens in 2005 there was a significant uptick in attention for the region and its culture. Interest swelled once again in the colourful, unique sounds spawned by the legendary city that gave the world the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, the Marsalis Family and Louis Armstrong.
In 2006, as the City of New Orleans still struggled with the aftermath of the storm, President George W. Bush presented the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the National Medal of Arts. The national attention resulted in musicians of all genres reaching out to collaborate with the band, including Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earl, the Black Keys, the Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. In 2013 the band played on The Tonight Show, earning high praise from host Jimmy Fallon and exposing them to another generation of potential jazz fans.
“My parents were never preservationists in any strict sense,” Ben Jaffe says. “They simply presented the music the way the old jazzmen wanted to play it. This is the music we want to play today. We’ll continue to do the old standards, along with new material that allows us to be creative and relevant.”
Tickets for this performance start at $44 for adults and $42 for students and seniors. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000, or online at riverrun.ca/preservation-hall-jazz-band
Ella Pauls | Manager of Cultural Development
Culture & Tourism| Community & Social Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2589