Latest Album So It Is
Today Preservation Hall Jazz Band releases their second album of all-new original music via Legacy Recordings. So It Is finds the classic PHJB sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band’s 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba.
“In Cuba, all of a sudden, we were face to face with our musical counterparts,” says Ben Jaffe. “There’s been a connection between Cuba and New Orleans since day one – we’re family. A gigantic light bulb went off and we realized that New Orleans music is not just a thing by itself; it’s part of something much bigger. It was almost like having a religious epiphany.”
The music on So It Is, penned largely by Jaffe and 84-year-old saxophonist Charlie Gabriel in collaboration with the entire PHJB, stirs together that variety of influences like classic New Orleans cuisine. Long-time members Jaffe, Gabriel, Clint Maedgen, and Ronell Johnson have been joined over the past 18 months by Walter Harris, Branden Lewis, and Kyle Roussel, and the new blood has hastened the journey into new musical territory. Inspired by that journey and reinvigorated by the post-Katrina rebuilding of their beloved home city, PHJB are redefining what New Orleans music means.