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.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.