Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trey McIntyre Project Review - Celebrating New Orleans in Song and Dance

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Trey McIntyre Project appeared together at the Symphony Center for a performance of two unique music-and-dance collaborations celebrating the music and spirit of New Orleans on Friday, February 17.   This concert marked the first time that a dance company has been featured on the Symphoney Center Jazz Series.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Creative Director Ben Jaffe, Joe Lastie, Jr., Charlie Gabriel, Clint Maedgen, Mark Braud, Rickie Monie, Freddie Lonzo - Photo by Clint Maedgen

The program opened with the audience foot tapping music of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  They then joined with the Trey McIntyre Project ballet company providing most of the music for the music-and-dance collaboration piece Ma Maison.  Originally conceived in 2005, it created an unforgettable portrait of the traditional New Orleans funeral that encompasses both the festive and the macabre.  The fusion of music and dance, the incredible choreography, and the macabre costumes provided an exhilerating and beautiful experience for the audience.  The second piece, The Sweeter End, first performed in 2008, focuses on the more celebratory aspects of the city, particularly how it embraces pleasure even in the face of adversity. For this piece, the dancers had removed their masks, so if was fun to guess who thy were in the first piece.

Trey McIntyre Project - Ma Maison - Photo by Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, formed in 1961 and known for their traditional take on the New Orleans sound, just celebrated their 50th anniversary.  It derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit.   The building that houses Preservation Hall has housed many businesses over the years including a tavern during the war of 1812, a photo studio and an art gallery. The intimate venue, whose weathered exterior has been untouched over its history, is a living embodiment of its original vision. To this day, Preservation Hall has no drinks, air conditioning or other typical accoutrements. (It also has limited room, all standing, and a long line to get in!).

The Trey McIntyre Project, an Idaho-based groundbreaking contemporary ballet company, is known for their use of varied musical genres—rock, jazz, classical and bluegrass—to highlight the distinctive, athletic choreography of founder Trey McIntyre.  It was founded in 2004 as a summer troupe with the purpose to nurture support and produce work by one of the world’s most vibrant choreographers, Trey McIntyre. It launched as a full-time company in 2008 with the mission to innovate the ballet genre by infusing its classical inheritance with freshness, vitality and depth. The company is touring annually at the most prestigious venues and festivals in the United States and abroad.

TICKETS for all 2011/12 Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Center Presents and Civic Orchestra of Chicago concerts can be purchased by calling CSO ticketing services at 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, online at, or by visiting the Symphony Center box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604. Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040. Artists, programs and ticket prices are subject to change.


















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