Nothing says New Orleans better than jazz music. New Orleans is credited with the birth of jazz at the turn of the twentieth century when West African black folk music was blended with the European music popular at the time. You probably won’t go far in the French Quarter without seeing a kid on the street corner blasting his trumpet or saxophone or hearing the distinct sounds of jazz wafting out of a nearby pub or fine dining establishment. All this passion for music is what makes a vacation to New Orleans so memorable.
If you want to partake in the jazz experience of New Orleans, a great place to start is Preservation Hall. This historic building is three blocks from the Mississippi in the heart of the French Quarter. The Preservation Hall building dates back to the early 1800’s, but the actual Preservation Hall was opened in the early 1960’s as a way to preserve the tradition and style of New Orleans jazz. This weathered old building gives you a true taste of the atmosphere of New Orleans when the birth of jazz occurred. Wooden floors, antique walls and furniture … stop by and enjoy a taste of the local flavor that is true Louisiana. This unique establishment has persevered over the years; even when modern jazz and rock took over the music scene. Preservation Hall still hosts many traditional New Orleans jazz musicians, including the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was founded at the same time the Hall was, in 1961. Since that time they have traveled the world entertaining international and local audiences by showing them the true original form of New Orleans jazz. There were several bands touring the world at one time under the name Preservation Hall and those founding members performed with the artists who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, and the amazing Louis Armstrong.
Today the Preservation Hall Jazz Band tours the world performing New Orleans jazz for all nationalities to enjoy. They also continue to perform great jazz at Preservation Hall. You can see them joined with countless jazz musicians performing, from the older musicians to the young kids in training. You can catch such greats as the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, the New Birth Brass Band or Glen David Andrews and the Lazy 6. There are also events occurring in the Preservation Hall like the Trombone Summit, the Tenor Summit and sometimes they have guest appearances featuring great gospel performers with the Preservation Hall band.
If you want to take the treasure of New Orleans home with you, Preservation Hall has its own label, so you can pick up a few CDs to remind you of the beautiful music you enjoyed on the streets of the historic French Quarter. Or try visiting New Orleans during the famous New Orleans Jazz Festival to see Preservation Hall come alive with many guest musicians and local artists.
One of the great things to do on your New Orleans vacation, a visit to Preservation hall is recommend at the top of the suggested itinerary lists. For an excellent taste of the nightlife in the "Big Easy", wind your way down Bourbon Street and stop off for jazz at Preservation Hall.
The Preservation Hall has no drinks, air conditioning or other fancy accouterments; it’s just pure music, available for kids and adults. For a truly unique and quintessential New Orleans Jazz experience, stop by Preservation Hall and see what Louis Armstrong, the king of jazz said, “now that’s where you’ll find all the greats”.