Preservation Hall Residency at Ace Hotel’s “Six of Saturns”
On Tuesday, April, 26, 2016 we were honored to partner with the freshly opened Ace Hotel New Orleans for a series of workshops during the day and a CMradio plus Preservation Hall Hot 4 performance featuring Clint Maedgen at night. The workshops and performance took place in the Ace's beautiful Three Keys venue.
50 Years Later: Stories from Preservation Hall and the segregated South with Charlie Gabriel, Dodie Smith-Simmons, and Ben Jaffe
For the first workshop, Charlie Gabriel, Dodie Smith-Simmons and Ben Jaffe shared memories and stories about the crucial role that Preservation Hall played during segregation, not only creating a safe haven for people to play and listen to music together, but also saving the dying scene of New Orleanian jazz, by giving musicians a purpose and trust in their ability to play and perform.
Mardi Gras Indian Percussion workshop with Walter Harris and Chief Fiyo
The second workshop focused on the traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians. Led by Chief Fiyo of the Hard Head Hunters along with Preservation Hall’s drummer Walter Harris, the attendees learned about the spiritual and social meaning of being a Mardi Gras Indian, as well as the practicalities it entails: from wearing beautifully ornate costumes and beaded shoes to learning the call and response chants and percussion parts. Highlights included a beautiful first-hand tale of how becoming a Mardi Gras Indian gave young Walter Harris a sense of belonging and purpose – despite his family’s initial disapproval – as well as a soulful performance of “Indian Red” dedicated to Miss Dodie Smith-Simmons.
Joe Lastie, Jr. and The Lastie Family Gospel
Typically playing separately in churches all over town, the Lastie Family gathered in Three Keys for an enchanting gospel, each member rotating on the lead vocal. Both performers and attendees seemed to have a good time as the workshop rapidly turned into a strong collective experience with sing-alongs and hands clapping all around.
Preservation Hall Hot 4 plus CMradio
The day ended with Preservation Hall Hot 4 plus CMradio, an electric performance of experimental and live electronic music meets traditional New Orleans jazz, helmed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band saxophonist and vocalist Clint Maedgen. The set was a skillful mix of soundscapes coming from brass instruments, vocals, bottles, keyboards, drums and electronics which led to an inevitable dance party.
Recap courtesy of Ace Hotel