Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings New Orleans tradition to Lake Tahoe |

Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings New Orleans tradition to Lake Tahoe

Adam Jensen
Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at Harrah's Lake Tahoe Saturday, June 11.
Courtesy Photo |

If you go

What: Preservation Hall Jazz Band

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11

Where: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

Tickets: $33.02 plus fees


A New Orleans institution makes its Lake Tahoe debut this Saturday, June 11, when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

The band began touring in 1963 out of the French Quarter’s Preservation Hall music venue, and its rotating cast of musicians has been dedicated to carrying forward the art of New Orleans jazz ever since. Many of the group’s founders performed with the pioneers of jazz.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is led by creative director Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe. While the band plays about 250 shows a year between its tours and shows at Preservation Hall, it’s relatively rare to find them on this side of the country, Jaffe said.

“We don’t get out to the West Coast very often,” Jaffe said during a Wednesday phone interview. “I’m excited to get out into the mountains this time of year.”

The group offers laid-back live performances that present a cerebral treat for jazz enthusiasts. While the group released an album of all-original tracks in 2013 entitled “That’s It,” the group largely sticks to jazz classics during its stage show, Jaffe said.

“It’s mostly jazz standards from Mile Davis to Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker,” Jaffe said.

The band has featured a long list of notable members over its own history. Leaders have included Willie and Percy Humphrey, Billie and De De Pierce, Sweet Emma Barrett and Wendell and John Brunious. Many of the current players are family members of past performers, Jaffe said.

The current incarnation of the group includes Jaffe (tuba, string bass, banjo, percussion and backing vocals), Mark Braud (trumpet and backing vocals), Charlie Gabriel (clarinet and vocals), Clint Maedgen (saxophone and vocals), Joe Lastie Jr. (drums and backing vocals), Rickie Monie (piano) and Ronell Johnson (tuba, trombone and vocals).

Preservation Hall Jazz Band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

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