With Orchestra Hall about to close for extensive renovations, the old place will get a Crescent City-style sendoff courtesy of two bands steeped in traditional New Orleans jazz: the venerable Preservation Hall Jazz Band (pictured) and the relative upstart New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, led by Minnesota Orchestra Jazz Artistic Director Irvin Mayfield. Also on hand will be Davell Crawford, one of the heirs of the great New Orleans piano tradition. New Orleans jazz funerals feature a slow, mournful procession to the boneyard, followed by a rousing, up-tempo romp back, the fired-up band trailed by gyrating second-liners. At the end of this performance, the bands will lead the audience out into Peavey Plaza, where they'll join up with one of the Twin Cities' disciples of NOLA's funked-up brass bands, Jack Brass Band. Before the grand finale, both bands will likely air out the traditional New Orleans repertoire with requisite spirit. Both are serious about the music, but hardly doctrinaire. PHJB has loosened up considerably under Ben Jaffe and freely cavorts with diverse artists, including Del McCoury's bluegrass band on last year's American Legacies. Each also sports charismatic characters, such as PHJB singer/reed player Clint Maedgen, and NOJO trumpeter Leon "Kid Chocolate" Brown and clarinetist Evan Christopher.
Sat., May 26, 8 p.m., 2012