Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band, and record label.
The building that houses Preservation Hall has housed many businesses over the years including a tavern during the war of 1812, a photo studio and an art gallery. It was during the years of the art gallery that then owner, Larry Borenstein, began holding informal jam sessions for his close friends. Out of these sessions grew the concept of Preservation Hall. The intimate venue, whose weathered exterior has been untouched over its history, is a living embodiment of its original vision. To this day, Preservation Hall has no drinks, air conditioning, or other typical accoutrements strictly welcoming people of all ages interested in having one of the last pure music experiences left on the earth.
The PHJB began touring in 1963 and for many years there were several bands successfully touring under the name Preservation Hall. Many of the band's charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders over the band's history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and in the modern day Wendall and John Brunious. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps like the current lineup.
THE PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND IS:
Ben Jaffe/Creative Director & Tuba: As son of co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe,
Ben has lived his whole life with the rhythm of the French Quarter pulsing through hisveins. Raised in the company of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, Ben returned from
his collegiate education at Oberlin College in Ohio to play with the group and
assume his father’s duties as Director of Preservation Hall. Today he serves as
Creative Director for both PHJB and the Hall itself, where he has spearheaded such
programs as the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.
Mark Braud/Trumpet and Vocals: As nephew to two former PHJB leaders, Wendell
and John Brunious, Jr., Mark is proud to further his family’s musical legacy in the
company of so many historic players. Beginning his career playing with the Olympia
Kids, a young players’ offshoot of the famous Olympia Brass Band, Mark has gone
on to record, tour, and play with New Orleans legends of both traditional jazz and
R&B, including Eddie Bo, Henry Butler, Harry Connick Jr., and Dr. Michael White.
Charlie Gabriel/Clarinet and Vocals: The musical heritage of Charlie
Gabriel can be traced back as far back as the 1850s. Great-grandson of New
Orleans bass player Narcesse Gabriel, grandson of New Orleans cornet player
Martin Joseph, and son of New Orleans drummer and clarinetist Martin Manuel
Gabriel, Charlie is truly a living legend. At seventy-six years old, the extensive list of
musicians with whom he’s played includes well-known PHJB alumni Kid Howard, Kid
Sheik, Jim Robinson, and George Lewis.
Clint Maedgen/Saxophone and Vocals: Though Clint is best known as leader of multimedia alt.cabaret group The New Orleans Bingo! Show, he has been in love with the
sound of traditional New Orleans jazz since he was a small child. After studying with
clarinet innovator Alvin Batiste at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Clint returned to
New Orleans’ French Quarter where he cemented his reputation as an artist and
collaborator through an ongoing series of eclectic and experimental musical
ensembles. As a full-time member of the PHJB, he brings an infectious passion to both
his playing and singing.
Joe Lastie, Jr./Drums: Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward, Joe comes from a
long line of family members equally dedicated to music and the church. Having
played his first job with a rhythm section backing the Desire Community Choir, he
would go on to study jazz with Willie Metcalf at the Dryades Street YMCA with
classmates Wynton and Branford Marsalis. After a brief move with his family to
Queens, New York, Joe returned to New Orleans where he was invited to substitute
on drums at Preservation Hall in 1989. He’s been a regular with the band ever since.
Freddie Lonzo/Trombone and Vocals: Born and raised in New Orleans’ Uptown
neighborhoods, Freddie was exposed to the music of the streets at a very young age.
Having cemented his desire to play New Orleans jazz, these early Second Line parades
would later offer him his first professional gig with EG Gabon and Doc Paulin’s Band.
A true master of every style of New Orleans music, from marching brass to modern
jazz, Freddie’s first appearances with Preservation Hall date back to the mid-eighties
when he toured and played with Percy Humphrey and Kid Sheik.
Rickie Monie/Piano: Born and raised in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward to jazz loving
church musicians, Rickie was inundated at an early age with the recordings of such
great jazz and gospel pianists as Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and Teddy Wilson.
After majoring in woodwind instruments at Dillard University, Rickie turned back to
the piano and picked up work in every style of music. In 1982, Monie got his first
call from Preservation Hall, to substitute for the legendary resident pianist Sweet
Emma Barret after she suffered a stroke. To the delight of audiences around the
world, he’s stayed onboard ever since.
Reverend Vince Anderson and the Love Choir
The Reverend Vince Anderson is a Brooklyn institution, playing weekly shows in the borough for the last 17 years. The Reverend calls his music, "Dirty Gospel". The title is not meant to offend, it is to remind people that humanity is an important part of the Gospel. It also refers to the blues element that the Reverend brings to his music. Improvisation is a key element of his music, demonstrated by collaborations with acts as diverse as The Roots, Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes, and members of TV on the Radio. He is also the co-pastor of Revolution Church NYC.