If he wasn’t promoting the show, chances are good that David Smith would be in the audience anyway.
“I’m a huge fan,” Smith said of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. “I like Dixieland and I like New Orleans-style jazz. I’ve had an opportunity to see them perform live on a couple of occasions. It’s always been a top-shelf performance. They’ve always delivered.”
Smith is co-chairman of the Elkhart Jazz Festival, an annual downtown summer musical showcase in its 27th year. The festival is June 19 to 22, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be the festival headliner June 20.
Standard and premium passes for the summer event go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. The standard “early bird” pricing is $110 for the jazz pass and $190 for the patron pass. Premium “early bird” pass prices are $150 for the jazz pass and main floor seating for headline shows, or $250 for patron pass and orchestra seating.
Tickets will be on sale at the Lerner Theatre box office, 410 S. Main St., online at thelerner.com or by calling the box office at 800-294-8223.
According to jazz festival organizers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band takes its names from the Preservation Hall venue located in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
“Anybody — any artist or person who experiences Preservation Hall — immediately knows that there is something very, very special here,” band member Ben Jaffe says on the group’s website. “That it’s extremely unique. That’s what I find amazing about Preservation Hall: Somehow the right people always find it.”
Preservation Hall Jazz Band tours more than 150 days a year, and Smith said the combo has released more than 30 albums. “That’s It!,” the band’s first-ever album of all-original tunes in its five-decade history, was released last year.
Securing marquee talent — Wynton Marsalis was the headliner last year — is the plan going forward for jazz festival organizers. Smith also touted taking full advantage of 1,700-seat Lerner Theatre as a performance spot.
“We have a venue that’s state-of-the-art and appreciated by the performers as well,” he said. “Last year, it proved to be a success. Like all successful business models, we’re replicating it this year.”