November-9th-2006, 07:29 PM
National Medal of Arts to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
President Bush will confer the National Medal of Arts to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band today at a ceremony in the White House. Dedicated to preserving New Orleans Jazz, the band performs traditional New Orleans music and derives its name from the venerable music venue--The Preservation Hall which is located in the French Quarter.
Founded in 1961 by Alan and Sandra Jaffe and Larry Borenstein, the band tours the country and the world as emissaries of this unique American art form. "We are honored to be recipients of this prestigious honor." states Ben Jaffe, Creative Director and son of founder Alan Jaffe.
Home to such jazz greats as Willie and Percy Humphrey, George Lewis, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barret, Kid Thomas Valentine and many others over its 45 year history, the musical legacy of the band is being carried on by current band members Carl LeBlanc, Ralph Johnson, Joseph Lastie Jr., Rickie Monie, Frank Demond, John Brunious, Walter Payton, Lucien Barbarin, newcomer Clint Maedgen and Ben Jaffe. "These gentlemen are responsible for perpetuating the traditions that gave birth to the United States of America's gift to the International Arts Community, jazz" states Jaffe, continuing "It is these traditions that are in jeopardy. We are committed to rebuilding the New Orleans cultural community brick by brick."
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the band embarked on a world tour bringing attention to the critical needs of New Orleans and its musicians. In order to provide immediate assistance to musicians, Ben and his wife Sarah Jaffe founded the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, www.nomhrf.org. The fund has provided grants to musicians and businesses in New Orleans, Jaffee adds "The rebirth of New Orleans is intrinsically tied to the resilience of its musical culture."
In addition to the National Medal of Arts President George W. Bush will also present the National Humanities Medal recipients for 2006. The awards will be presented by the President in an Oval Office ceremony on Thursday, November 9, 2006. The President will be joined by First Lady Laura Bush, Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, and Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities.
November-11th-2006, 08:19 PM
It's nice to see them getting some recognition. They have really tried to carry the torch for the New Orleans sound...it seems like they can make just about anything swing.