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Do You Miss New Orleans?

Jazz band finds new purpose in Katrina's wake.


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays each note as if the fate of New Orleans hangs on it, and in a way, it does. The outfit has toured the world for more than four decades, but the devastation wrought by Katrina has given it new purpose. "We've been celebrating the band's 45th anniversary," says Ben Jaffe, the group's director. "Not only has it been a historic time for the band, but it's a historic time for New Orleans."

A native of the French Quarter, whose parents founded the fabled Preservation Hall club in 1961, Jaffe was a student of New Orleans jazz from cradle through college — he studied at Oberlin and at night frequented Cleveland's Boarding House and the Bop Stop. Now his days are spent pulling New Orleans back to its feet: In addition to running the club and band, Jaffe and his wife formed a foundation aimed at restoring the city's legendary music scene. "I'm basically the one to carry the torch," he says. "If I didn't do it, it wouldn't get done."
Fri., Oct. 27, 8 p.m.

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