Preservation Hall Jazz Band Comes to Concord College

For Immediate Release: 
Oct 09 2002

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Comes to Concord College

Athens, W.Va. - The band committed to keeping true New Orleans jazz vibrant is coming to town Wednesday, October 23. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans will appear at Concord College at 8 p.m. in the Main Theater of the Alexander Fine Arts Center.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band got its name from Preservation Hall, an historic landmark in New Orleans. The building, constructed in the mid-18th century, was a residence, a tavern and an art gallery, before it became the home of the authentic jazz of New Orleans.

The “house band” has been referred to by one music critic as “a bridge across the ages—a link between the present day and the heyday of traditional New Orleans music.”

This turn-of-the-century music—not to be confused with the two-beat Dixieland style that it spawned—stays basically the same, although the generations come and go. The current band roster includes musicians ranging in age from 20 to 90.

The group, which has been touring the United States for more than 30 years in various configurations, recently made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, and Wolf Trap where they were presented with the Wolf Trap Medal for Excellence in the Performing Arts. The musicians frequently take their distinctive brand of jazz to foreign countries, including concerts as far away as Thailand and the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel.

There can be no printed listing of the numbers to be played in the concert by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The musicians themselves do not know what they will play, beyond perhaps the opening and closing numbers. What they play will be determined in large part by the audience. As the evening progresses, the musicians will decide what comes next, based on their unerring instinct for sizing up each individual audience, whether it’s 200 or 20,000, a college crowd or symphony subscribers.

The sweet-sad-gentle-exuberant music came out of turn-of-the-century street parades, saloons, and river boats, but most of all it was born in the hearts of the people who worked and danced, laughed and cried, in New Orleans. It is music played by men who worked the docks all day, but were not too tired to blow their horns most of the night. This is the music from life with an unmistakable form and beat, yet it allows the players a freedom of phrasing that literally commands audiences to stamp their feet and shout. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is not Dixieland, it is not funny music, it is not written music. It is music that comes from the souls of the men who created a musical tradition in their own lifetimes.

A New York Times review described the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s art as music that “glistens with zest and joy” and the critic of the San Francisco Examiner called Preservation Hall the “best jazz band in the land.”

Ticket prices for the concert are $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $2 for non-Concord students and will be available at the Concord College box office before the show.

For more information, call the box office at 1-304-384-5101 or e-mail


Concord College Notes: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon,
1-304-384-5276 or Alice Dillon, 1-304-384-5177, if special accommodations are required for this event.

Keith Circle, a student in Concord College’s communication arts department wrote this press release. His hometown is Athens, W.Va.