Protect. Preserve. Perpetuate.
Preservation Hall was established by Allen and Sandra Jaffe in 1961 as a performance space supporting traditional jazz and the perpetuation of the rich African-American musical legacy of New Orleans. Preservation Hall’s engagement with a diverse community of musical and artistic collaborators has brought New Orleans music into the eye of the global mainstream and helped to revitalize the local cultural economy. In 2011, Ben Jaffe—member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and son of the Hall's founders—created the Preservation Hall Foundation (PHF) to protect, preserve and perpetuate the musical traditions and heritage of New Orleans.
Protect. Preserve. Perpetuate. Preservation Hall Foundation has based their mission on these profound words. They PROTECT the future of New Orleans’ musical traditions by providing music instruction and mentorship from senior culture-bearers to students around the world. They PRESERVE the history of Preservation Hall’s community through an extensive archives, and innovative content collaborations to evolve their traditions in meaningful ways for the present. They PERPETUATE these traditions by recognizing the role of New Orleans’ musical culture-bearers, through a program that provides a stable salary for their public roles as educators and neighborhood musicians.
The Foundation has recently focused on education programs for high-risk and developmentally challenged students. In 2016, the Foundation, in conjunction with NOLArts Learning Center, created "STOMPTroopers," the first Mardi Gras Krewe made up 100% of students with Autism. It was the first time many of these students had been to a Mardi Gras parade. They have partnered on a wide variety of events for students with Autism, recognizing the need in the community and lack of music education programs for students with ASD. Subsequently, they also offer mentorship and music classes for local area youth in two Juvenile Detention Centers. They have been effective at engaging students in these facilities by providing a consistent role model to teach them music fundamentals.
PHF’s long term goal is to employ all the Preservation Hall musicians with full-time positions as community educators and leaders. They recognize the importance of the culture-bearers and want to ensure that the tradition is passed on for many generations to come. By employing more of their musicians full time, they in turn are able to impact more schools, students, and people within the community.