Preservation Hall Jazz Band Announce Return To Stern Grove Festival

Article Contributed by GMA | Published on Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stern Grove Festival will be celebrating their 75th Season of Concerts this year as well. In celebration of their anniversary, Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been commissioned to compose and perform a piece of music. The song will reference the festival's tradition of “the waving of the pink section,” in which audience members wave the SF Chronicle's Sunday Datebook in the air. The tradition began with the band's former trombone player, Jim Robinson and his legendary waving of his white handkerchief.The band's performance at Stern Grove will also introduce Ronell Johnson, taking over on tuba for Ben Jaffe. Jaffe will be stepping down from his bandstand tuba position to stick around New Orleans in anticipation of his first child, due this summer. Jaffe will continue to be part of the team, continuing his role as Creative Director of Preservation Hall.Raised by a musical family in New Orleans, Johnson started playing trumpet and piano around the age of 6. Four years later, Johnson increased his musicianship and taught himself how to play the trombone, tuba, organ, saxophone, drums, and more. He began performing professionally at the age of 12. To deepen his musical education, he attended New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and majored in music at Southern University at New Orleans. Johnson became Jaffe's protege, studying under him at NOCCA.The Johnson family are no strangers to Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as his great uncle is Joseph “Kid Twat” Butler who played string bass with the legendary Kid Thomas Valentine and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He is additionally a member of his family's brass band Coolbone (comprised of his 3 brothers, 2 uncles, and 4 cousins) and has toured with David Byrne, Ben Harper, Spearhead, Busta Rhymes, Counting Crows, De La Soul and other.In continuation of their 50th Anniversary Celebration series, the band will be performing at Breckenridge Music Festival on June 28th. Preservation Hall will also be on tour this summer, bringing their legendary performance across the country.PHJB Tour Dates6/2: Brookfield, WI @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts6/7: Coral Gables, FL @ Coral Gables Congregational Church6/9: Winston-Salem, NC @ Thrust Theatre, University of North Carolina School of the Arts6/10: Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden (with The Del McCoury Band)6/13: New York, NY @ Symphony Space Peter Jay Sharp Theatre6/15: Portsmouth, NH @ The Music Hall6/16: Croton-on-Hudson, NY @ The Clearwater Festival6/17: Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl6/22: Vancouver, BC @ Centre for the Performing Arts6/23: Victoria, BC @ TD Victoria International Jazz Fest6/28: Breckenridge, CO @ Breckenridge Music Festival6/29: Las Vegas, NV @ The Smith Center for the Performing Arts6/30: Las Vegas, NV @ The Smith Center for the Performing Arts7/1: San Francisco, CA @ Sigmund Stern Grove7/2: Seattle, WA @ The Neptune Theatre7/4: San Rafael, CA @ Marin County Fair7/6: Irvine, CA @ Irvine Barclay Theatre7/7: Livermore, CA @ Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center Bankhead Theater7/12: Grand Rapids, MI @ Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park7/13: Wichita, KS @ The Orpheum7/14: Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Music and Arts Festival7/15: Reno, NV @ Reno is Artown Grand Sierra Theatre at The Grand Sierra Resort7/24: Fish Creek, WI @ Door Community Auditorium7/25: Interlochen, MI @ Interlochen Center for the Arts Kresge Auditorium7/26: Boston, MA @ Boston Globe Summer Arts Weekend in Copley Square7/27: Boston, MA @ Boston Globe Summer Arts Weekend in Copley Square7/28: Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival 20128/2: Wellfleet, MA @ Wellfleet Preservation Hall8/3: Newport, RI @ Newport Jazz Festival8/8: Fryeburg, ME @ Fryeburg Academy Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center8/9: Waterford, CT @ B.O.M.B. FEST Harkness Memorial State Park