Preservation Hall, New Orleans

Preservation Hall, New Orleans
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What started as a jam session in an art gallery soon became the institution that saved a national art form. Opened in 1961, when New Orleans jazz was overshadowed by rock and roll and bebop, Preservation Hall established a popular home for dedicated traditional musicians. Here, locals and tourists alike lined up nightly to hear intimate concerts from icons like George Lewis, Punch Miller, and Sweet Emma Barrett.

Today, people still gather to hear spirited renditions of classics like “Clarinet Marmalade,” “Bourbon Street Parade,” and “The Saints” in the venue’s modest, wooden room. (The hall seems a bit more grand when you consider that Tom Waits called it “sacred, hallowed ground” when recording there in 2011. Louis Armstrong—another admirer—once remarked, “That’s where you’ll find all the greats.”)

With a current rotation of more than a hundred local master practitioners and concerts over 350 nights a year, Preservation Hall is a can’t-miss stop for both jazz aficionados and casual admirers.

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