WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings its legendary energy to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Friday, June 28 at 8 p.m.
Perhaps no city in America is more associated with jazz than New Orleans, and few bands are more intimately linked with New Orleans than the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has brought New Orleans-style jazz to the world since it began touring fifty years ago.
Now celebrating a half-century on the road, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was founded in 1963 to keep traditional New Orleans jazz alive. The group is still based in Preservation Hall in New Orleans, a legendary concert venue founded by Allan and Sandra Jaffe in 1961. The band is currently directed by their son, Ben Jaffe.
"There's a lot of history, struggle and oppression that contributes to what we now call New Orleans music," Jaffe said. "There's history, tradition and meaning to the way we dance and celebrate. There's so much cultural depth to what we play. That's why it's unique."
Their music is characterized by polyphonic collective improvisation - both lyrical and instrumental - as well as by a reverence for the music and stylistic approach of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden and other jazz giants. The band also enjoys collaborating with modern artists, as their recent Grammy performance alongside the Black Keys demonstrates.
"We're so old we're new again," Jaffe
Their new album "That's It!" will be released on July 9 and is the first album of entirely original compositions in the band's history.
The band's signature enthusiasm is sure to ignite the Clark's intimate auditorium. The concert was originally planned for Feb. 8, but was postponed due to severe winter storm conditions.
Tickets are available in advance for $42 ($38 for members of the Clark and students), or the day of the performance for $45. Tickets may be purchased online at clarkart.edu or by calling 413-458-0524.
A New Orleans-themed three-course dinner will be served in the Clark Café at 6 p.m. for $27 (does not include beverage, tax or gratuity). Space is limited; reservations are required. Please call 413-458-0524 or email Maria Gamari at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.