HUNTINGTON, IN JANUARY 3, 1997 --- A taste of Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter comes to the Merillat Centre for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4 as Huntington College presents the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in concert. A New Orleans institution for over forty years, the band will play jazz favorites during an evening of toe-tapping, head-bobbing and hand-clapping revelry.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been touring the United States for 25 years, and regularly performs internationally. They have recently appeared at Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, and Wolf Trap, where the band was presented with the Wolf Trap Medal for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was formed more than forty years ago. They play a style of New Orleans jazz that differs from typical two-beat "Dixieland." It is a shade slower than other forms of jazz, and the melody is always clearly heard. The New York Times says their music "glistens with zest and joy."
The heart of Preservation Hall music is improvisation, expertly delivered by band members ranging in age from the "younger" traditional jazzman Wendell Brunious to the venerable Percy Humphrey, 89. Even the concert program is improvised. The musicians never plan their program in advance, but wait to meet each audience. After the opening number, the band members decide what comes next based on an unerring instinct for sizing up each individual audience, whether its 200 or 20,000, a college crowd or symphony subscribers.
The band takes its name from Preservation Hall, a residence built in 1750 in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Over the years, Preservation Hall has served as a tavern, an art gallery, and now a concert hall. Its tiny central room is sparsely furnished with a few wood benches and an informal stage over ancient wooden floorboards. Jazz lovers crowd together on benches, stand in the back and even sit on the floor just to hear the legendary band.
The Merillat Centre for the Arts main auditorium is capacious by comparison, but the show is expected to sell out. Tickets for the February 4 concert range in price from $8 to $12. For reservations or further information, please call the Merillat Centre for the Arts box office at (260) 356-4260.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band concert at the Merillat Centre for the Arts is presented by the banks of Huntington County, including Bippus State Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, First National Bank of Huntington, Norwest Bank, and State Bank of Markle
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