Documenting Preservation Hall

Over the last several years, I have been interviewing the Jazz musicians who regularly play at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, a sanctuary for traditional New Orleans Jazz. Preservation Hall is a container of both people and sounds linking the present to the past. Using interviews I’ve conducted with over thirty musicians – from the most recent, thirty-something arrivals, to the septuagenarians who’ve been playing at the Hall for decades – this documentary project collectively tells the story of an institution which has been a container for fostering, preserving, and continuing one of our nation’s most valued art forms: traditional, New Orleans Jazz. These documentaries also tell the stories of many individuals who keep this music and its attendant culture alive.

Take a look at the Preservation Hall book I co-authored with Shannon Brinkman, and listen to the audio documentaries I made for the exhibit about Preservation Hall at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans, at the Old US Mint:


The Scene paints a picture of New Orleans music in the 1960's, when Preservation Hall began.


The British Are Coming tells the story of musicians from around the world who left home and moved to New Orleans for the love of the music and the city which perpetuates it.


Jazz on the Streets.  Second lines, brass bands, and the meaning of tradition.


Passing (The Torch) is about passing on and passing the tradition on. This is one of my favorites!


Musicians & Their Music is a compilation of delightful stories about instruments, music teachers, and assorted other tales from the lives of musicians.


Playing What You're Feeling What's it like to play? They'll tell you.


The Living Hall Things change in fifty years, and some things stay the same.


Final Words All the voices and songs you don't want to miss, which couldn't fit anywhere else. In the exhibit, "Final Words" is paired with Shannon Brinkman's photographs in a beautiful video by Ron Rona.


Also listen here to the radio story I made for Preservation Hall's 50th birthday.


Return to list of audio documentaries.


 © Eve Abrams 2010