STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: 50 Years with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band


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This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who will be in St. Louis to perform their “Creole Christmas" show on Sunday, December 9 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

This is the seventh year PHJB has done “Creole Christmas," though the first couple of years were in New Orleans only. This is the show's St. Louis debut, and as you'd expect from the title, it features PHJB's takes on familiar holiday favorites such as “Winter Wonderland," “White Christmas," “O Christmas Tree," “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and others.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and you can see their history recounted in a short documentary in the embedded video window up above. Down below, you can see a very early interview with business manager and tuba player Allan Jaffe, recorded back in 1961 for NBC's Huntley-Brinkley Report.

Below that, we've got four performance clips featuring different lineups of the PHJB, starting with a vintage 1973 version of “Just A Closer Walk With Thee," featuring Percy Humphrey (trumpet), Jim Robinson (trombone), Willie Humphrey (clarinet), Sing Miller (piano), Allan Jaffe (tuba), and Cie Frazier (drums).

Next, it's “Hindustan," taken from the band's set at the 2006 Rochester International Jazz Festival and featuring John Brunious Jr (trumpet), Ernest “Doc" Watson (saxophone), Lucien Barbarin (trombone), Carl LeBlanc (banjo), Rickie Monie (piano), Walter Payton (bass), and Joe Lastie Jr. (drums).

The fifth clip is an excerpt from a PHJB performance of “St. Louis Blues," featuring vocals from trombonist Freddie Lonzo, that was recorded in 2008 at B.B. King's in NYC.

The final video, made in February of this year at the Louisiana Music Factory in New Orleans, shows the present-day lineup of the band playing “Bourbon Street Parade," “Trouble in Mind." and a gospel-flavored arrangement of “When The Saints Go Marching In." Along with Lastie, Monie, Barbarin, and tuba player Ben Jaffe, son of Allan, this version of the band also features Mark Braud on vocals and trumpet and Charlie Gilbert on saxophone and clarinet.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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