The sounds of New Orleans will be warming up Holland and Hope College when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
Called the "best jazz band in the land" by the "San Francisco Examiner," this legendary group leaves the French Quarter to liven up groups throughout the country just a few months each year.
Formed in 1961, the band has continued to champion the jubilant sounds of New Orleans jazz, no matter what the current trend in music may be.
Concerts by Preservation Hall Jazz rarely leave anyone sitting. In fact, quite often the band ends up leading a march throughout auditoriums.
With songs like "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Bourbon St. Parade," "Just A Closer Walk with Thee" and "St. Louis Blues," the band appeals to adults and children alike. The concert is appropriate for the whole family.
But don't ask for a program ahead of time. The group waits for responses from the audience to decide what number to play next.
The seven musicians play everything from trumpet and trombone to piano and banjo.
"They are masters of their instruments," said "The Greenville News" of South Carolina.
The band is a mix of young and experienced players, but all have deep New Orleans roots. While many have found success in other areas of jazz, playing with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Kid Thomas Valentine, Smiley Lewis and others, all have made the unique style of New Orleans jazz their main focus.
Their commitment shows up on their numerous recordings, but especially in their performances.
"The Preservation Hall Jazz Band had them clapping and patting their feet, and finally, marching up one aisle and down another in their high-energy, crowd-satisfying performance," said the "Santa Barbara News."
While on campus, some members of the band will meet the Hope students in a jazz history course. In addition, they will host a free workshop on their music for the public on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Area schools are encouraged to bring students to the workshop.
Tickets for the Wednesday, Jan. 22, 8 p.m. performance go on sale beginning Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the box office in the theatre lobby of the DeWitt Center, and will also be sold at the door if still available. Tickets cost $15 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under. The box office is open Monday- Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and can be called at (616) 395-7890.