In the aftermath of Tuesday's celebrations of Mardi Gras, “CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood” on Sunday profiles the city’s bastion of traditional music, Preservation Hall, and the venerable venue’s namesake jazz band.
The segment includes an interview with bassist/tuba player Benjamin Jaffe, son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the couple that turned what had been an art gallery into a home for musicians who still championed the style of jazz that developed in the early 20th century, most famously by native son Louis Armstrong.
At that time in 1961, traditional New Orleans jazz had largely fallen out of favor among jazz musicians in the wake of bebop players such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
One significant aspect of Preservation Hall early on was that, “This was the only place in New Orleans where blacks and whites were congregating openly and where there were mixed bands,” Jaffe tells interviewer Lesley Stahl in the program. “It was revolutionary.”
Benjamin Jaffe returned to get involved in the family business after leaving Louisiana to study at Oberlin College in Ohio. It was while he was away from home that he developed a deeper appreciation for what he’d left behind.
“I always thought of it as, you know, like our pyramids,” Jaffe tells Stahl. “You don’t change something that’s already perfect.”
“CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood” airs Sunday at 9 a.m. Here’s a video of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, with Jaffe and his mop of frizzed hair introducing a band original, "Sugar Plum," they played for Stahl and the CBS crew in Preservation Hall:
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