Sometimes you just need some good jazz. But Preservation Hall Jazz Band isn’t just good jazz. It’s epic New Orleans-style jazz that’s been around for over 50 years. The hall was founded by Allan and Sandra Jaffe, is now run by their son Ben who took over in the mid-90s, and continues to be a historical icon, full of culture and hope.
When Ben took over he decided to give the band a flash of new energy by bringing in big time musicians to join the band, to write and perform together–artists like My Morning Jacket, Pete Seeger, Tom Waits. These collaborations introduced a colorful wave of creativity to the band’s classic base, inspiring a new generation of listeners, as well. And the list of highlights for the band continues, like performing at Coachella with Arcade Fire, at the Newport Jazz and Folk Festival, and with the Foo Fighters on their album Sonic Highways.
Their latest album So It Is (to be released at the end of the month on Legacy Recordings) takes your quintessential NOLA jazz (as heard on their early albums like New Orleans Vol I, II and IV) and mixes it with a Spanish flavor (inspired by the band’s visit to Cuba). And that’s why Preservation Hall Jazz Band is still so relevant. They believe in their roots and want to celebrate that in their sound, but they also believe in shaking it up. You can hear their spicy sound on their latest single off the record called “Santiago.” But whichever songs Preservation decides to play from their long list of epic tunes, they will undoubtedly put on a stellar show.