Seats Limited for Jazz Concert
The Carolina Hotel will be jumping with jazz on Saturday, Feb. 16, when the Pinehurst Resort welcomes the world-famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band straight from New Orleans for a one-night gig.
The occasion that is conceivably any jazz lover's fondest dream is the 28th annual Arts Council of Moore County fundraiser, known as the Heart 'n' Soul of Jazz.
Jan Schell, who has been at the helm of the organizing committee for more than two decades, says, "Many of the agents I have worked with can't get over the fact that we've been able to maintain our event for 27 years in an area removed from an urban location. We're proud of that fact, and our sponsors - Pinehurst Resort, American Airlines, Progress Energy and the Kingfisher Society - are proud to be part of this prestigious event that benefits the Arts Council."
In the intimate, specially decorated cabaret setting of the Cardinal Ballroom, the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings to the Sandhills the New Orleans-style art form which embodies a joyful, timeless spirit.
Under the auspices of current director Ben Jaffe, the musicians of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continue to perform with a deep reverence and consciousness of their tradition as a cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture.
Situated in the heart of the French Quarter, the building known as Preservation Hall presents nightly concerts featuring some of the area's finest performers, showcasing a musical legacy dating back to the origins of jazz itself.
The venue, whose weathered exterior has been untouched over the years, serves no drinks, has no air conditioning or other typical accessories, offering instead an authentic historic music experience.
Last year, the touring Preservation Hall Jazz Band's 50th anniversary was marked by a extraordinary Golden Anniversary performance in Carnegie Hall, a multi-artist supershow at Jazzfest in New Orleans, and a performance with Stevie Wonder at a Message of Peace Concert celebrating the United Nations' 67th anniversary.
Preservation Hall was open for 343 concerts, and the touring band racked up more that 150 dates on the road, as well as appearances at such events as the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival, the first time a group has appeared at both festivals in the same year..
During 2013 the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform in more than 100 locales, including a few international dates in places like Mexico, Canada and the Middle East, and the usual schedule of summer jazz festivals, plus their annual appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in the spring. The band started off the year performing with several other groups at a Sandy Relief Concert on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, N.J.
According to Ron Rona, managing director at Preservation Hall, "We were able to raise $72,000 for a variety of causes related to Sandy's aftermath. We were very moved, because dealing with natural catastrophes is something we're pretty sensitive to, and we're always looking for ways to lend a hand."
Outside of New Orleans, a little-known way that Preservation Hall has of reaching out is through the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band. Although the Junior Jazz Band has only been in existence officially for a few years, music education has always been a top priority.
"By nature, the traditions are passed from one generation to the next, and many of the performers here at the Hall learned from the ones before them," says Rona. "It's essential to what we do. The Junior Jazz Band gets together twice a week with individual private lessons also on the schedule. In addition, we do workshops and presentations on New Orleans music for both children and adults while we are on tour."
Not surprisingly, the appearance of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in Pinehurst on Feb. 16 has caused an unprecedented demand for tickets. The supply of tickets at $65 per person is very limited and includes a dessert reception after the concert, sponsored by BB&T and Wells Fargo.
Chris Dunn, executive director of the Arts Council, advises that a wait list has been established, and for information about ticket availability, jazz lovers should contact the Arts Council, rather than the hotel, by calling (910) 692-2787.
Contact freelance writer Mary Elle Hunter at mehunter1055 @hotmail.com.
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