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Release: Aug. 30, 2002

(Note to editors: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will also open the Lakes Arts Center in Okoboji, Sept. 20-21, as a result of a cooperative relationship between Hancher and the new art center in northwest Iowa. For more information, talk to Hancher’s Judy Hurtig [319-335-1136 or ] or Chuck Swanson [319-335-1133 or].)


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The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose concert christened the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium three decades ago, will return to launch the auditorium’s 30-anniversary season at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. The late-afternoon concert will be followed by a picnic on the Hancher Green (the picnic is included in the ticket price).

Preservation Hall Jazz Band got its name from Preservation Hall, one of the landmarks in New Orleans. The building, constructed in the mid-18th century, was a residence, a tavern and an art gallery before it became the home of the authentic jazz of New Orleans.

The “house band” has been referred to by one music critic as “a bridge across the ages -- a link between the present day and the heyday of traditional New Orleans music.”

This turn-of-the-century music -- not to be confused with the two-beat Dixieland style that it spawned -- stays basically the same, although the generations come and go. The current band roster includes musicians ranging in age from their 20s to their 90s.

The group has been touring the United States for more than 30 years in various configurations, and the musicians frequently take their distinctive brand of jazz to foreign countries, including concerts as far away as Thailand and at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel.

A New York Times review described the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s art as music that “glistens with zest and joy” and the critic of the San Francisco Examiner called Preservation Hall the “best jazz band in the land.”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band tickets are $30, $28 and $25. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price. Ticket-buyers can take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. A simultaneous purchase of three to five events qualifies for a 15-percent discount, and a simultaneous purchase of six or more events qualifies for a 20-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:< >.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

Cantebury Inn and Suites is the corporate sponsor of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band event, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

The picnic is being planned by a Hancher Guild committee, headed by Dick and Nancee Blum, and sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Stores. Hancher Guild is the auditorium’s volunteer organization.

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