Filmmaker Ken Burns And Tauck To Host Exclusive Jazz Event In New Orleans


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NORWALK, CT—Private performances by musicians including Ellis Marsalis... VIP treatment and a private concert at Preservation Hall... Exclusive talks from Ken Burns and the music historian at the Louisiana State Museum... An insider's tour of the Hogan Jazz Archive hosted by its curator... Gourmet meals at some of New Orleans' most renowned restaurants, including Arnaud's and The Court of Two Sisters...

All of these experiences and more will be featured during a new five-day event in New Orleans exploring the birth and evolution of jazz. The event is the product of a partnership between Tauck, an 86-year-old leader in premium quality guided tours, and the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, whose 10-part film “Jazz" was honored with the 2001 Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement, News & Information. Not only did Burns work closely with Tauck in crafting the itinerary, he will also deliver the keynote address at the event, to be held October 5ׯ.

“Jazz and New Orleans are inseparable; you can't fully tell the story of one without telling the story of the other," said Burns. “The best way to understand and appreciate this uniquely American art form is to explore it and experience it surrounded by the actual places, the history and the culture that gave birth to it."

To take full advantage of the event's New Orleans location, Tauck has arranged a number of exclusive “insider" experiences at area sites and enlisted local musicians and other experts, according to company CEO Dan Mahar. “For 86 years, Tauck has specialized in delivering experiences that our guests can't get on their own," said Mahar. “The line-up we've put together with Ken makes this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone interested in jazz, from the casual listener to the hard-core fanatic." Mahar added that capacity is limited to 300 attendees, and that the event is expected to sell out quickly. Earlier this spring, Tauck announced a similarly crafted, five-day Ken Burns event exploring the Civil War in Washington, DC, and it sold out completely in just 10 days.

Guests attending the Burns-Tauck jazz event will be treated to private, closed performances by renowned musician Ellis Marsalis at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, by saxophonist, singer and composer Donald Harrison at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, and by a local jazz combo at the iconic, historic Preservation Hall. Along with Ken Burns's keynote address, other presentations will be offered by curator Bruce Boyd Raeburn at Tulane's Hogan Jazz Archive; by Charles Chamberlain, Music Historian for the Louisiana State Museum; by National Park Service ranger and musician Bruce “Sunpie" Barnes; and by writer and documentary film producer Lolis Eric Elie. Other activities during the event will include a welcome dinner at Arnaud's, guided explorations of key venues from the history of jazz, a jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters, and a gala farewell dinner cruise and performance by the Dukes of Dixieland aboard the steamboat Natchez.

Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of “America's first family of jazz" and one of the event's performers, expressed his strong enthusiasm for the itinerary. “I've been playing jazz for more than 60 years, I've been a music educator on-and-off for over 40, and this trip combines my two passions," said Marsalis. “Anyone coming to New Orleans for this event will hear a lot of really great jazz, they'll gain a better appreciation for the music and its heritage, and they'll have a great time to boot."

THEMED SIGHTSEEING MODULES. Each full day of the itinerary will examine a different facet of jazz, with the event's 300 attendees splitting into small groups of 30 to experience a series of private, interactive, guided sightseeing modules, each related to a central daily theme. Themes to be explored on selected days include “The Roots of Jazz," with special guided visits to Basin Street Station, the Storyville red-light district, the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collections, and Tulane University's Hogan Jazz Archive. Another day's theme will highlight “Jazz in the Quarter" during a tour of the French Quarter's historic Cabildo with Louisiana State Museum Music Historian Charles Chamberlain and a private day-time performance at Preservation Hall. A final module, “Jazz & the Story of Survival Today," will explore the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans' music scene in the historic Treme neighborhood as well as music's subsequent role in New Orleans' recovery.

Guests attending the Tauck-Ken Burns jazz event will enjoy accommodations at the five-star Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Prices for the event start at $3,490 per person, double occupancy, plus air, and include admission to all daytime sightseeing and evening events, all entertainment, most meals, luggage handling, hotel transfers in New Orleans, and more. Those interested in additional information should contact their local travel professional, visit Tauck online at tauck.com, or call 1 800 468 2825.

ABOUT KEN BURNS. Ken Burns has been making documentary films for over 30 years. His films have garnered 12 Emmys and two Oscar nominations, and set viewership records at PBS. Burns has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and he is the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees.

ABOUT THE KEN BURNS FILM “JAZZ." Originally broadcast in January, 2001, “Jazz" was honored with the 2001 Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement, News & Information, and the 2001 ASCAP President's Award, Outstanding Television Documentary. In all, the film and its accompanying soundtrack and book received nearly 20 honors, including five Emmy Award nominations.

ABOUT TAUCK. Tauck has been a leader in guided travel since its launch in 1925. Family-owned and operated, Tauck offers nearly 100 premium-quality land journeys, small ship cruises, family travel adventures, and active, immersive small-group travel experiences in 65 countries and all seven continents. The company has won over 60 awards for quality, innovation and leadership, including being named the “World's Best Tour Operator" by a number of consumer and trade publications.

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