Preservation Infatuation

Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs February 4 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

While roots rock is thriving, one doesn't hear similar tales regarding the roots of jazz. Some older styles of jazz coexist, even blossom, alongside contemporary -- bebop, swing, soul-jazz -- but the music's New Orleans origins are often overlooked or written off. Truth is, the real stuff -- Luis Russell, King Oliver -- is just as raw, fiery, and feral as anything by Charlie Feathers or Albert Ayler. Case in point: the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

In 1961, art dealer Larry Borenstein opened Preservation Hall so the remaining Crescent City jazz masters and their young followers would have a venue all their own. Soon after, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was born. With a membership more fluid than the Mekons or Spinal Tap, the PHJB roars into the 21st Century, bringing a few talented upstarts like clarinetist Dr. Michael White, who joins mainstays Frank Demond and Don Vappie. Their latest platter, Shake That Thing, celebrates N'awlins roots -- French, Cajun, gospel, marching band -- in a manner that's anything but nostalgic or academic.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, February 4, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $29.50 to $39.50. Call 954-462-0222.

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