The Preservation Hall is a venue in the middle of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, that celebrates the history of jazz through nightly concerts. With jazz performances almost all year long, the ensembles encourage the evolution of the respected culture of music. In 1961 the Preservation Hall was established to honor the tradition of jazz in New Orleans. Prior to becoming a music venue, in the 1950s it was a rehearsal space for the few remaining local jazz musicians.
A decade later it was converted into the Preservation Hall, devoted to keeping the musical traditions of New Orleans alive. Currently, it functions as a non-profit organization, music venue, and touring band. Every night, visitors of all ages can enjoy the authentic sounds of Louisiana. Acting as a cornerstone for music and culture, the hall is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and perpetuating the musical heritage of Louisiana.
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The architecture of the hall is beautiful and intimate and is one of the most exclusive venues in the world. Constructed in 1817 in the heart of the lively district of the French Quarter, this building has been a home to art and culture for almost 200 years. The historic Creole Mansion has been virtually unchanged since the Preservation Hall opened in 1961. Visitors are able to completely immerse themselves in the history of the music while being surrounded by diverse and antique architecture. Complete with its original iron gates, courtyard, and legendary performance space, the hall echoes the history and joy of jazz in its daily concerts.
Presently, the Preservation Hall is dedicated to continuing its original founding mission to encourage vibrant musical traditions. During the past 50 years, the hall has continued to provide a meaningful way of passing on the world of jazz to new generations. Through nightly jazz concerts, social programming, and an emphasis on education, the hall has become a center for culture in the city. Concerts in the evening occupy the hall almost every night of the year, giving audiences an insight into this venerable musical custom. To continue to stay relevant, music at the hall has welcomed many different styles, including gospel, hip-hop, bluegrass, and rock bands, in collaboration with the sounds of jazz in New Orleans. Continuing to drive the melodic culture while making a difference in the community, they have created and supported different social programs. Following the devastation of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Musician's Hurricane Relief Fund and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program were developed in response to rebuild the community. Supporting various social programs such as the Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the Make It Right Foundation, the hall is also dedicated to making a difference in the communities within New Orleans. Through community outreach, education, and caring for older members of the bands, the hall acts as a fundamental part of society in Louisiana.
Each night the Preservation Hall features an array of intimate concerts that feature bands that comprise a collection of 100+ local jazz masters. Passionate about their craft and the traditional style of music, these musicians are tightly connected. Specializing in different instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, and clarinet, regular performers work together to produce a unique experience. Some of these preservers of culture are Maynard Chatters, Tommy Sancton, Will Smith, Ben Jaffe, and Louis Ford. Through their contributions to the hall, they continue to carry the musical voice of New Orleans forward.
The Preservation Hall has deep roots in the traditions of New Orleans, and through outreach and educational programs they continue to build support for the culture within Louisiana. In 2011 the foundation within the hall came to support academic research, music education, and other campaigns to raise awareness of traditional jazz from New Orleans. Along with this, there are other events such as the Oral History and Courtyard Conversations series, which allow members of the Preservation Hall like trombonist Maynard Chatters to tell their stories. Often, they explain how they learned how to play an instrument, how the music community helped them grow as artists, and how music affects their everyday lives. Continuing to develop musical education and tradition in the community, there are field trips offered for both K-12 and college students. The education experience is filled with discovering the history of New Orleans jazz by listening to a live concert and interacting with players. Additionally, the Preservation Hall Foundation encourages learning by offering scholarships and financial supports for international students visiting the hall.
726 St Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116, Phone: 504-522-2841