What’s better on Easter Sunday than a little bit of tradition, New Orleans style? I know. Not much. So while you hide and seek the Easter eggs, bake a ham, and stay dry, listen to an archived Roadhouse show featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and other traditional New Orleans music.
Last Wednesday, I did an hour feature on the living, breathing tradition that is New Orleans. It features historical recordings from PHJB (1966) and others who have kept the unique sound and vibe of New Orleans alive, then and now. You’ll hear Dr Michael White & Greg Stafford, Snooks Eaglin, Olympia Brass Band, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, James Booker, Fats Domino, and classic traditional songs like Basin Street Blues, Milneburg Joys, St James Infirmary, Down By The Riverside, and of course, The Saints.
And listen close for an explanation of how a jazz funeral works, and Professor Longhair talkin’ about the piano tradition, and all the young cats who came around to check his unique skills. No doubt, Fess was the man
Preservation Hall is like a church in the French Quarter. The no frills, historic, and totally acoustic room plays host to visitors and tourists nightly. Upon entering this tiny spot, you know it’s a special place -- a place that has preserved New Orleans traditional jazz since 1961. The band’s line-up is of course revolving through attrition over the years and is now in the competent hands of Ben Jaffe, who grew up at the feet of the (late) legendary players who were in the band since his father Alan opened the place back in the day. Many great jazz players were able to keep working and play regularly into their later years, and during the lean years, thanks to Preservation Hall. Many a character could be seen here over the years; characters like Sweet Emma
Preservation Hall Jazz Band is playing Easter Sunday at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley here in Seattle. Set time is 7:30pm
If you can’t make the Seattle Easter show, then by all means visit Preservation Hall when in New Orleans. There’s old ghosts and spirits in there playing trombones and sax over the sounds of a creeky floor. And maybe it’ll change your life, like it did with Tom Sancton. Tom is speaking at Tulane University on April 19th, about how he, a middle-class white teenager, entered the world of elderly jazz masters at Preservation Hall in the early 60s. It’s pretty amazing.