Preservation Hall Jazz Band marks 50 years at fest
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has marked its 50th anniversary with two concerts at New Orleans' Jazz Fest featuring a number of old friends.
On Sunday, the band closed the festival's Gentilly Stage with friends including Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty, the Rebirth Brass Band and Jazz Fest founder George Wein.
In a rare performance, the 86-year-old Wein introduced the band then played piano on their opening number -- "Basin Street Blues." He got a rousing ovation after the song ended and he left the stage.
The French Quarter-based music venue was founded in 1961 to protect and honor New Orleans jazz.
Hall director Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, said his parents' goal was to make sure New Orleans' unique musical traditions would be kept alive.