Co-curated by Preservation Hall and the Louisiana State Museum, Preservation Hall at 50 tells the story of the New Orleans music landmark from the early 1960s to the present through artifacts, photographs, film and audio clips, interviews and oral histories. Authors of the book Preservation Hall, art photographer Shannon Brinkman and radio documentarian Eve Abrams add to the exhibition with large color images and oral histories of today’s Preservation Hall musicians.
Allan and Sandra Jaffe founded the famed music hall on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter in 1961, a time of renewed international interest in traditional New Orleans jazz.
“This exhibition honors the founding vision and celebrates the music and musicians Preservation Hall has shared with the world for a half century,” Ben Jaffe, Preservation Hall creative director, said.
Adding wider historical context, the Museum will display iconic objects from its jazz collection—including Louis Armstrong’s first cornet and instruments played by Preservation Hall jazz greats such as clarinetist George Lewis and bassist Alcide “Slow Drag” Pavageau.
The Preservation Hall exhibition is part of the long-range plan to establish the Old U.S. Mint as a center for live music and music history. A $4 million performance space will open on Nov. 12. The space is partnership between the State of Louisiana and the National Park Service. The Museum will use the space for evening lectures, solo and small group concerts and special events while the National Park Service will use it for daytime programming serving visitors to the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park.
“This exhibition is just the beginning of the Museum’s focus on Louisiana’s musical heritage,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “We are excited for what the future holds for The Old U.S. Mint as a world class jazz museum.”
The Museum will install a new permanent exhibition exploring Louisiana’s rich musical heritage in 2013. The Old U.S. Mint is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information and admission prices visit lsm.crt.state.la.us.
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