Arts & Entertainment,
August 4th, 2012
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
By Robert P. Walzer
“A quintessential New Orleans jazz band comes to Brooklyn on Saturday to press the case it has been making some 300 times a year for half a century: Its sound is the real thing.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s music is rooted in the earliest forms of the indigenous American music in the city where it all began.
While deeply aware of that pedigree, Ben Jaffe, the band’s creative director, also is trying to infuse Preservation Hall with a certain hipness, not unlike how Ry Cooder helped give a group of traditional Cuban musicians world-wide fame with the Buena Vista Social Club recording.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t end up on VH1 one day,” says Mr. Jaffe, 41 years old, who plays the upright bass and marching tuba in the eight-member band. “It would be super cool if we had a radio hit. It’d make the world a better place.”
Hence the band’s performances at youthful venues like the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg on Saturday and at the Great GoogaMooga Festival in the borough in May alongside the hip-hop/soul band, The Roots. The hipness goal also may be helped by recent recordings with artists including Ani DiFranco, Paolo Nutini and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), who helped Preservation Hall rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, during which every one of the band members lost their homes.”