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Preservation Hall

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit Preservation Hall in New Orleans late in the evening, after the main crowds have dissipated, to enjoy a more intimate jazz experience. Also, check out local restaurants and bars for after-show deals, as some places offer discounts when you present your ticket stub from the Hall."

What is Preservation Hall?

Preservation Hall is more than just a venue; it's a living museum dedicated to the heritage and perpetuation of traditional New Orleans jazz. Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, this intimate space, with its worn wooden floors and well-aged benches, transports you back to the early twentieth century when jazz was not just the music of New Orleans, but its soul. It's a place where you feel the history with every note played, and where the spirit of those old jazz legends still lingers in the air.

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Open since 1961, Preservation Hall has become an iconic music venue, revered by jazz aficionados and casual music lovers alike. It's not a bar or a lounge with a stage—it's a temple of sound where the focus is solely on the music. There's no fancy lighting or high-tech sound systems; what gives life to the performances is pure, unamplified acoustic jazz, played by some of the best musicians you'll find in the city. It's this authentic experience that makes a night at Preservation Hall a must-do for any visitor to New Orleans.

History of Preservation Hall

The history of Preservation Hall is deeply entwined with the cultural tapestry of New Orleans. It began as a modest art gallery in the early 1960s, founded by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. They recognized the need to protect and honor the tradition of New Orleans jazz, which at the time was fading in the wake of more modern musical movements. The Jaffes provided a space in their gallery for aging jazz musicians to perform, and quickly, music became the main attraction. Preservation Hall not only presented a stage for these venerated artists but also helped revitalize interest in a genre that is synonymous with New Orleans itself.

The Hall grew in prominence, becoming a beacon for jazz lovers from around the world. The house bands over the years have featured a roll call of jazz greats, some of whom have been instrumental in shaping the very fabric of jazz music. Many traditional New Orleans jazz musicians have passed through its doors, and today, the Hall remains committed to the Jaffe family's original mission: to preserve, perpetuate, and protect traditional New Orleans Jazz.

Why is Preservation Hall Important?

Preservation Hall's importance lies in its steadfast dedication to the preservation of a genre that is core to the identity of New Orleans. Jazz is not just music here—it's history, tradition, and a way of life, and Preservation Hall serves as its custodian. The Hall ensures that the sounds that once filled the dancehalls and street parades of the city years ago continue to be heard and celebrated. Its contribution to the cultural landscape of New Orleans is so profound that it has been said, to know jazz, one must experience Preservation Hall.

Additionally, it has played a critical role in music education and cultural outreach. The Preservation Hall Foundation, established to protect and honor the legacy of New Orleans Jazz, offers a wide range of educational programs for both the young and the young at heart. Through workshops, lectures, and performance opportunities, the Foundation actively cultivates future generations of jazz musicians and enthusiasts.

Things to Do & See at Preservation Hall

When you visit Preservation Hall, the main event is, of course, the nightly jazz concerts. These shows are legendary, often featuring a lineup of both veteran musicians and up-and-coming talent. The performances are authentic and spontaneous—no two shows are ever the same. You'll want to arrive early to get in line; tickets are generally first-come, first-served, and the cozy venue fills up quickly. Trust me, the experience of live jazz in such a historical place is unforgettable.

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While the main draw is the music, your visit to Preservation Hall is also an immersive journey into the essence of New Orleans culture. Don't miss the opportunity to look at the portraits and memorabilia that cover the walls, each telling its own story of the Hall's storied past and the legacy of jazz in the city. Occasionally, they also offer special events like masterclasses and discussions with musicians, offering a deeper dive into the world of jazz.

Finally, be sure to check out the Preservation Hall Foundation's outreach initiatives when planning your visit. Whether it's a community parade or an educational program, being part of these events can enrich your understanding of the significance of jazz on both a local and global scale. There's something incredibly moving about witnessing the bond between New Orleans jazz and the community it inspires—a dynamic that truly comes to life at Preservation Hall.

Frequently asked questions

What is Preservation Hall?

Preservation Hall is a renowned music venue established in 1961 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, dedicated to preserving, perpetuating, and protecting traditional New Orleans Jazz.

Can you attend concerts at Preservation Hall?

Yes, Preservation Hall hosts nightly jazz concerts featuring a rotating lineup of local musicians dedicated to the preservation of New Orleans Jazz.

Do you need tickets to attend performances at Preservation Hall?

Yes, visitors typically need to purchase tickets to attend the performances at Preservation Hall. It's recommended to buy them in advance due to the venue's popularity.

How early should you get to Preservation Hall for a concert?

It's advisable to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to show time, as seating is generally on a first-come, first-served basis and the hall often fills up quickly.

Is Preservation Hall accessible to all guests?

Preservation Hall is a historic venue and has limited accessibility features. Guests with mobility issues are advised to contact the hall in advance for accommodations.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps