The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty, Wynton Marsalis, and Christian Scott
at the 2016 Montreal Jazz Festival

At the dawn of the 20th century, New Orleans birthed a new art form – jazz. Flag bearers like bandleader Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, and later on Louis Armstrong, were cradled by the Crescent City. This vibrant new musical style quickly spread beyond “The Big Easy”. Chicago, New York and Kansas City each went on to nurture their own style of jazz. In the ensuing decades, Big Band, Swing, Bebop, free jazz and countless jazz fusions emerged. Like branches on a family tree, they all trace their lineage to New Orleans – the city where the heart of jazz first started beating.

All in the Family

New Orleans jazz has survived and thrived in the DNA of its formidable musicians. Many of whom come from a long line of musicians, passing this musical knowledge down through the generations, like a precious family heirloom.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

New Orleans Jazz - Preservation Hall Jazz BandIn the heart of the French Quarter, the joyous sounds of New Orleans Jazz have been emanating from the Preservation Hall since 1961; when Allen and Sandra Jaffe, a young couple from Pennsylvania bought the hall and began the tradition of promoting authentic New Orleans jazz. This intimate venue, with no stage or air conditioning, where patrons sit on wooden benches and the floor, is home base for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Acclaimed musicians George Lewis, Kid Thomas Valentine and “Sweet” Emma Barrett are among a long list of past band members. Descendants from that notable list can be found in today’s band. The youngest member, 39 year old Ronell Johnson (tuba, piano and vocals) is the great nephew of double bass player “Kid Twat” Butler. Proving that music keeps you young, 84 year old Charlie Gabriel (clarinet, tenor saxophone and vocals) is the band’s oldest member. Continuing the family heritage, the Jaffe’s son Ben (tuba, string bass, banjo, percussion and backing vocals) is manager and creative director.

“The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has a responsibility to not only carry on the traditions, musical and cultural, that were handed down to us by the generations that came before, we also have a responsibility to contribute our voice and experiences to the New Orleans musical tradition.” – Ben Jaffe

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is performing Saturday, July 9th at Théâtre Maisonneuve. Tickets can be purchased at the Place des Arts box office, by phone at (514) 842-2112, 1-866-842-2112 or online at

Trombone Shorty

New Orleans Jazz - Trombone ShortyBorn into a musical family, Troy Michael Andrews began playing trombone when he was only four. His natural talent and genuine love of playing the trombone, an instrument that far out sized his tiny frame, earned him the nickname Trombone Shorty. He began his professional career at age six; was touring internationally at 12 and joined the horn section of Lenny Kravitz’ touring band at 19.

“The city of New Orleans raised me.” Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews

In 2010, Trombone Shorty released “Backatown”, an album on which he not only plays trombone but also sings and plays trumpet, keyboards and drums. Garnering critical acclaim, the Grammy-nominated album held the number one spot on the Billboard Jazz chart for nine weeks. The following year, “For True” topped the charts for 12 weeks. “Say That To Say This,” released in 2013, featured guest performances by Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, Warren Haynes, Ivan and Cyril Neville.

New Orleans Jazz - Trombone Shorty youngTrombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue are a high-energy blend of jazz, funk, rock, R&B, and hip-hop; a style he calls “SupaFunkRock.” Andrews’ full international touring schedule has been punctuated with performances at the Grammy and American Country Music Awards and a couple of distinguished performances at the White House.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are performing on Monday, July 4th at the Métropolis. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 1-855-790-1245, or online at

Wynton Marsalis

New Orleans Jazz - Wnton Marsalis

© Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

The son of a jazz pianist, Wynton Marsalis received his first trumpet at age six. At age twelve he was playing in local marching, jazz and funk bands, and classical youth orchestras. A virtuoso, known for his clear tone and lyrical voicing, Marsalis excelled in both jazz and classical milieus throughout his career. In the jazz realm he has played with Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and countless other jazz legends. In the classical realm he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic.

Musician, bandleader and composer, Wynton Marsalis has created musical landscapes for tap dance and ballet productions, along with compositions for big bands, symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and quartets. Along the way he collected nine Grammy Awards, in both jazz and classical categories, 29 honorary degrees and became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his jazz oratorio Blood on the Fields.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis will be performing on Thursday, June 30th at Maison Symphonique. Tickets can be purchased at the Place des Arts box office, by phone at (514) 842-2112, 1-866-842-2112 or online at

Christian Scott

New Orleans Jazz - Chrisitan ScottNephew of legendary saxophonist Donald Harrison, Christian Scott received his first trumpet when he was 12. Scott’s talent was soon evident and the young musician went on to graduate from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and then on to Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

Scott, known for his “whisper technique” (emphasizing breath over vibration), has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and two live albums. His 2006 release, the Grammy nominated Rewind That garnered much praise for its blend of rock, R&B, and jazz. Billboard Magazine called it, “arguably the most remarkable premiere the genre has seen in the last decade”.

“Some people start with bebop, some people start with post-bop, some people start with fusion. My uncle took me back to the very beginning of the music. He taught me stuff that Buddy Bolden was playing in the early 1900s.” – Christian Scott

Sometimes known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, his talent has seen him collaborate with many artists, in many genres. Scott can be heard on Prince’s “Somewhere Here on Earth”, from the 2007 album Planet Earth.

Scott’s latest album, 2015’s Stretch Music attempts to “stretch” the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic forms of jazz. Released simultaneously, the Stretch Music App offers an innovative, musician centric, approach to playing along. The Stretch Music App is an interactive music player that allows you to mute any instrument (or instruments) from tracks on the album. It was inspired by Scott’s musing, “How cool would it have been, if in 1958/1959, when Miles’ band was recording Round Midnight or Kind of Blue, if you could take the trumpet out and play the record as Miles Davis? What would music sound like today if you actually had the resources to be able to do that?”

Christian Scott will be performing at Le Gesù on June 30th, on July 1st with guitarist Charlie Hunter, and on July 2nd with vocalist Lizz Wright. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 1-855-790-1245 or online at

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

From traditional New Orleans jazz to SupaFunkRock, Big Band to Stretch, New Orleans’ best are coming to Montreal. Let the Good Times Roll!