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Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought the sound of New Orleans to the streets of SXSW


It's not every day that you see a New Orleans -style street parade, complete with horns, drums and umbrellas, marching down the streets of Austin, Texas.

But this year for SXSW, residents and festival-goers alike were treated to that authentic New Orleans flavor.

"Preservation Hall Jazz Band is there to perpetuate and preserve and protect the New Orleans music tradition," said Ronell Johnson, trombonist and vocalist in the band. "We're the ambassadors of New Orleans. We go out throughput the world and play music, spreading love and joy and peace, which we really need so much these days."

The band, which was formed in the early 1960's and plays out of the famous Preservation Hall in the French Quarter of New Orleans, had just premiered a new film before their street parade. A Tuba To Cuba documented the trip's recent delegation to Cuba, in which they explored the culture of jazz all over the island. The parade culminated in a party at Empire Control Room, a downtown Austin mainstay during SXSW.

The next evening, the band took it's sound on the road again. They performed at the Luck Reunion, at Willie Nelson's Luck, Texas ranch.

"The Luck Ranch. Feel very lucky to be here," quipped Johnson.

Between sets of alternative country from the likes of Willie Nelson himself, Nikki Lane, and Kevin Morby, the electrifying, upbeat jazz of the Preservation Hall Jazz Club stuck out in the best way possible. People danced, drinks flowed, and the New Orleans diplomacy continued.

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