Alexa’s favorite thing to do in New Orleans is to listen to traditional New Orleans jazz at Preservation Hall. Established in 1961, this intimate music venue is the cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture, as well as the sacred French Quarter establishment where Alexa and her husband had their first date in 1997. Preservation Hall is one of Alexa’s passions and she is engaged in creating awareness both abroad and nationally for its’ Foundation and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Launched in 2012, the Preservation Hall Foundation supports music education, academic research, historical archiving and promotional outreach campaigns to create greater awareness and appreciation for Traditional New Orleans Jazz and the communities that support it. The Foundation’s mission is “to protect, preserve, and perpetuate Traditional Jazz, strengthening the sense of community, music, family and culture that are an inseparable part of New Orleans and Preservation Hall.”
At Preservation Hall, the term “traditional” is taken quite literally; the older generation teaches the music to the younger musicians, and from them to their successors. The facilitation of this tradition passing is fundamental – whether it’s played during celebrations at Mardi Gras, during the burial of loved ones in New Orleans funeral ceremonies, or for audiences worldwide, Traditional New Orleans Jazz serves not only as a vital component of New Orleans culture but also represents a historical lineage to the earliest forms of jazz itself.
The Foundation’s programs fit into three areas:
The Preservation Hall Foundation’s primary activity is developing educational programming, targeting troubled areas in New Orleans with no current music programs in their schools. These programs focus on experiential settings for students to learn by playing and receive mentorship from professional teaching artists.
- Preservation Hall Junior Jazz BandA band comprised of students aged 10 to 17, providing students with continuing music education in traditional New Orleans jazz, expanding development in music performance, history, theory, and business.
- Kids in the HallStudent concert field trips hosted at Preservation Hall, featuring a performance by Preservation Hall performers, a short presentation on New Orleans Jazz, and the history of Preservation Hall.
Preservation Hall Foundation’s outreach funding supports the “three P’s” of our mission by extending traditional jazz music and culture outside of New Orleans. The primary ambassadors of Outreach activities are our touring Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Activities include free performances at schools, libraries and other public spaces as well as lectures and master classes in academic and professional settings.
- Private Lessons and MentoringPrivate music lessons with members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, pairing musicians with students for mentoring and music development.
- Workshops, Clinics and MasterclassesOutreach programs performed by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, featuring a live performance, short presentation on the history of jazz, and/or one-on- one workshops on applied instruments within the band.
The Preservation Hall Foundation’s archives program protects and honors the tens of thousands of documents, instruments, artwork and other historically important artifacts collected by Preservation Hall over the past 50 years. This essential collection of materials ultimately is accessible by the public in a museum setting at the Louisiana State Museum at the US Mint on Esplanade Street in the French Quarter.