New Orleans is famous for jazz, and if you want to dig a little deeper into the history of the genre, Preservation Hall has you covered. Founded in 1961 with the goal of preserving and practicing unique New Orleans Jazz, it’s now a music venue with a record label and a touring band (along with non-profit status!). You’ll find it in the midst of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street where acoustic and intimate concerts take place nightly. Here you’ll discover some of the best local performers playing their own original music as well as homages to the greats of the past.
The local Preservation Hall performers also boast over 100 tour dates each year around the world. They’ve played at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. What began as a tiny art gallery in the 50s has become one of the most famous jazz destinations in the country. In the early days, rehearsal sessions were held here, and the likes of George Lewis and Sweet Emma Barrett considered it their home away from home.
Visit the Great Hall
The non-profit arm of the Hall offers a variety of programs including Neighborhood Horns, which began in 2014 to offer music programs to local schools that are lacking. A one-year teaching residency gives children musical experiences and builds self-esteem. The Brass Band Book is a free resource on local brass band music featuring sheet music and reference recordings.
The Junior Jazz Band ran from 2011-2013, and now the alumni are in college music programs around the country. It re-launched in autumn 2015. To find out more, visit seven night per week for a free concert and explore jazz the way it was meant to be.