Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Irvine Barclay Theatre
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The last date listed for Preservation Hall Jazz Band was Friday July 6, 2007 / 8:00pm.
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Loved the concert! Not as good as actually being in Preservation Hall and sitting on the old wooden benches, but the band members brought their love, joy, and music from New Orleans and it translated very well in the Barclay theater. We left with...continued
If the people of New Orleans are the soul of this music, then Preservation Hall is its heart. A small structure with loose floorboards, old benches and peeling paint, this was where New Orleans style jazz lived and was preserved for future generations. It has had many incarnations since it was built in 1750 in the French Quarter, and serves as a home to many jazz musicians, when not touring. One of the most popular sites in New Orleans, Preservation Hall has been a magnet for jazz musicians the world over.
Not being able to perform at Preservation Hall after Katrina hit, the band spent a lot of time on the road. A week after Katrina, they were playing in New York with borrowed instruments. A month after the storm they were in Europe for three weeks, and have since toured to Asia and Australia. The band also contributed a song to the benefit CD “Our New Orleans” – the old Louis Armstrong standard “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans.”
Fortunately, the Hall itself did not sustain major damage and reopened in April. Ben Jaffe, director of Preservation Hall and string bassist, whose parents, Alan and Sandra Jaffe, bought the building in 1961, says Preservation Hall started having open rehearsals at the Hall this past February, in much the same way as his parents did back in 1961. “Today New Orleans is in some way similar to 1961, in terms of the number of people living here. The open rehearsals allowed us to start having music again and start bringing people back into Preservation Hall.”
Yet the future is still uncertain. “We have absolutely no idea what our future is here in New Orleans. We feel we will make it through the summer, Ben Jaffe said. “Then we’ll see what happens.”
The band’s members include: John Brunious, trumpet; Darryl Adams, saxophone; Ralph Johnson, clarinet; Rickie Monie, piano; Frank Demond, trombone; Carl Le Blanc, banjo; Joseph Lastie, Jr, drums; Walter Payton, bass; Clint Maedgen, vocalist.
This is the first year during which the band is travelling with a vocalist. Clint Maedgen, a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, has been a staple on the New Orleans music scene since 1988. His bands, Bingo and Liquidrone, play a variety of styles ranging from acoustic country to art rock. Asked by Ben Jaffe to appear as a guest vocalist with the Preservation Hall Band, Clint has toured worldwide with the group, including a State Department tour that took the band to 5 countries and over 20 cities throughout Europe.
From generation to generation, Preservation Hall has remained a monument to the sweet, joyous sounds of New Orleans jazz. “We’re not going to let a hurricane stop our music. This music is too important to the musicians and people of New Orleans, and to the people of the world," John Brunious, who plays the trumpet with the band, said. “This music is our treasure and we want to share it.”
“For us, playing music is a cathartic experience and a great opportunity for us to release and rejoice,” Jaffe says. “People should come to our shows expecting to have a great time, (though) we hope to spread the message that back home, it’s a different story and we’re still in need of great help here.”