By James Pleasant
New Orleans’ Preservation Hall has been a cornerstone of jazz music since its origins in the early 1960s. During this time, traditional New Orleans Jazz was becoming overshadowed by more popular styles of music such as rock n’ roll and bebop. In order to honor and preserve New Orleans Jazz—one of America’s truest art forms — the Preservation Hall was officially established in the music-filled city, where it continues to dazzle audiences with music that sounds as pure as it did in the early days.
To help continue this legacy, the Preservation Hall Foundation recently launched the Southeast Louisiana Musicians’ Flood Relief Fund to benefit professional musicians affected by floods that ravaged Louisiana in August.
One-hundred percent of the funds will be distributed to professional musicians for the replacement of instruments, equipment, studio space, and anything else needed for them to continue practicing their craft and generating income doing what they love.
“I can speak for the musicians of Preservation Hall that it was inconceivable to continue sharing our music after Hurricane Katrina without the immediate support we received from our network around the world,” said Ben Jaffe, creative director of Preservation Hall. “We want to be there for our musical brothers and sisters in Baton Rouge and Lafayette in their time of need.”
In conjunction with the Relief Fund, the Preservation Hall Foundation is also organizing Red Stick Revival, a benefit concert supporting the musicians, taking place on September 18 at the Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA.
The concert will feature performances from Louisiana musicians GIVERS, Big Freedia, Pell, and Boyfriend, as well as the Preservation Hall All-Stars.
Those who volunteer with the Preservation Hall Foundation’s rebuilding and clean-up efforts in Baton Rouge on September 18 will receive a free ticket to the concert.
Professional musicians affected by the flood can apply for relief funds here. In order to qualify, musicians must submit documented proof of employment in the music industry for at least two years, or any commercially released recordings or videos.
Since 2011, the Preservation Hall Foundation has helped protect and preserve the musical heritage of New Orleans through a combination of relief efforts, media projects, music education and more.