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Award-Winning Musicians To Discuss New Orleans’ Role in Birth of Jazz

Award-Winning Musicians To Discuss New Orleans’ Role in Birth of Jazz
The world-renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a group of talented and award-winning musicians who have dedicated their careers to preserving New Orleans jazz, will explore jazz’s roots in the Big Easy during a special educational session at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall at Frostburg State University’s Lane University Center.

The program, a component of the CES Jazz Club’s educational outreach initiatives, is free and open to the public. Using slides, video and musical examples, Preservation Hall Jazz Band will trace the complex history of New Orleans and its multi-layered cultures to explain the development and evolution of New Orleans jazz. At the heart of the presentation is the question, “Why is New Orleans the birthplace of jazz?” Ticket holders will also be able to enjoy the group’s sounds later that day during a sold-out performance at 7:30 p.m. at FSU.

“This is a unique opportunity, for not only jazz aficionados but for our entire community, to gain insight into the development of jazz as well as the impact and influence the New Orleans region continues to have on this music,” said Mary Jane Plummer, assistant director of FSU’s Cultural Event Series. “But even more impressive is the fact that we will hear this directly from one of New Orleans’ most prominent groups and world-renowned performers.”

Founded in 1961 by Alan and Sandra Jaffe, who sought to perpetuate the traditional jazz music of New Orleans, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has toured the world as emissaries of this unique American art form. The group was recently awarded the 2006 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, in recognition of its efforts to bring jazz to the masses.

Dedicated to preserving New Orleans Jazz, Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs traditional New Orleans music and derives its name from the venerable music venue—Preservation Hall, in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Home to such jazz greats as Willie and Percy Humphrey, George Lewis, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barret, Kid Thomas Valentine and many others over its 45-year history, the musical legacy of previous Preservation Hall Jazz Bands is being carried on by current band members Carl LeBlanc, Ralph Johnson, Joseph Lastie Jr., Rickie Monie, Frank Demond, John Brunious, Walter Payton, Lucien Barbarin, newcomer Clint Maedgen and Ben Jaffe.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band embarked on a world tour to bring attention to the critical needs of New Orleans and its musicians. In order to provide immediate assistance to musicians, Ben and his wife Sarah Jaffe founded the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, The fund has provided grants to musicians and businesses in New Orleans.

For more information about this free program featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band, please call the FSU Cultural Events Box Office at (301) 687-3137, or visit online at

Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s performance is a presentation of CES Jazz Club sponsored by Kauffman Music and is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the generous support of Marc DiNola, DDS.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services, and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office at (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589