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Ben Jaffe

The son of Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Ben was raised in and around Preservation Hall. Jaffe marched in his first Carnival parade at the age of nine alongside his father and parrain (godfather) Harold "Duke" Dejan. When he was thirteen, the lease on the building that housed the Hall was up for renewal. His father sat the family down and asked Ben whether they should continue. By 1984, many of the original musicians who had played at the Hall in its early days had passed away, yet the soul of the Hall remained the same. The young Jaffe replied, "Of course you continue!"

Less than ten years later, the day after graduating from Oberlin College, Jaffe flew off to play upright bass with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in France and began overseeing operations at the Hall. He now serves as the Hall's creative director and plays tuba (sousaphone), upright bass, and banjo in the band. Jaffe remastered and released several archival recordings of the early Preservation Hall Jazz Band, including some by Sweet Emma Barrett and Sister Gertrude Morgan. The band's newer recordings include collaborations with the Blind Boys of Alabama, Pete Seeger, Tom Waits, Trombone Shorty, Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz, The Del McCoury Band and many others.


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Ben Jaffe: Preserving the Hall

Read "Ben Jaffe: Preserving the Hall" reviewed by Wade Luquet

Preservation Hall was founded fifty years ago in a small art gallery in New Orleans' French Quarter by Allan and Sandra Jaffe as a place to preserve traditional jazz. Seven nights a week, tourists and locals enjoyed the best of this jazz style in the small performance space for just a few dollars collected at the door in a basket. Today, the lines still stretch down the block and the dollars are still collected in a basket. And while Allan ...

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Preservation Hall's Ben Jaffe "Jolts Jazz Tradition"

Preservation Hall's Ben Jaffe "Jolts Jazz Tradition"

Source: All About Jazz

Preservation Hall creative director Ben Jaffe is praised in the June issue of SPIN Magazine for breathing new life into the New Orleans institution. The son of Pres Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe is “No fusty embalmer," says SPIN, adding “the younger Jaffe jolts jazz tradition by inviting unlikely musicians such as Sun Ra sideman Carl LeBlanc and spiky-haired punk crooner Clint Maedgen to play." Need further proof? Jaffe recently curated the 5th annual “Midnight Preserves" concert series which ...



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