Ben Jaffe / Preservation Hall Jazz Band/Brass Band

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant Recipient

Ben Jaffe / Preservation Hall Jazz Band/Brass Band

Recipient Information


New Orleans, Louisiana

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant

Grant Amount


About the Project

In partnership with the Big Ears Festival (Knoxville), two sections of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform and do extensive outreach with the East Tennessee Bluegrass Association (to explore connections between bluegrass and New Orleans jazz),  work with the mizik rasin band RAM (to explore connections between New Orleans and Haitian-rooted beginnings), and Cattywampus Puppet Council (to work with schools in giant puppet making for parades w/Preservation Hall).

Residency Location

Knoxville, TN

About the Artist

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band, and record label.   
The PHJB began touring in 1963 and for many years there were several bands successfully touring under the name Preservation Hall. Many of the band's charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders over the band's history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and in the modern day Wendell and John Brunious. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps like the current lineup. 

 As son of co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Ben has lived his whole life with the rhythm of the French Quarter pulsing through his veins. Raised in the company of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, Ben returned from his collegiate education at Oberlin College in Ohio to play with the group and assume his father’s duties as Director of Preservation Hall.  Today he serves as Creative Director for both PHJB and the Hall itself, and serves as the founding Board Chairman of the Preservation Hall Foundation.