For fifty years the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has played to keep the traditions of New Orleans jazz alive, both at home and on tour around the world. Along the way, they have brought in collaborators of all musical stripes to play, honor and reinterpret America's first true art form.
In Louisiana Fairytale, director Danny Clinch documents their collaboration with American rock band My Morning Jacket, showing a legendary group of New Orleans musicians passing on traditions and inspiring a new generation. Produced by Clinch and Preservation Hall band leader Ben Jaffe, the film features an intimate performance by both bands in the French Quarter's historic Preservation Hall.
Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival, Birmingham, AL ~ August 26-28, 2011
KahBang Music & Art Festival, Bangor, ME ~ August 5-14
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN ~ June 9-12, 2011
South By Southwest, Austin, TX ~ March 16-20, 2011
Q: What was the genesis of this project?
I am friends with Ben Jaffe and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as well as with the guys in My Morning Jacket. When Ben told me they were going to do a surprise midnight set atPreservation Hall during Jazz Fest week, we knew we had to film it!
Q: What were the challenges in developing this film?
The biggest challenge was in the editing. There's a lot of story to tell if you decide to dive into the history of Preservation Hall, so the challenge was to give enough of that information without getting sidetracked from the reason we were there. First and foremost, we wanted to show the collaboration between these two bands and the respect and inspiration they share for each other.
Q: What surprised you the most while making the film?
That Preservation Hall hasn't physically changed since it was started!
Q: You are also a photographer on the music scene. What effect did that have on your directing?
Luckily, I'm used to being around musicians and so is my crew. Considering how intimate the room is, we were able to blend in and document many amazing moments without getting in the way.
Q: What is your favorite scene in the film?
It's quite well-‐balanced in the sense that all the scenes are very moving and significant. There's a segment on musicians passing the torch from one to the other over the generations and finally on to Jim James which I find particularly moving.
Q: What do you hope SXSW audiences take away from this film?
My hope is that audiences walk away with the realization that the roots of American music are still vital and inspiring to this day. Even the pioneers of this music are willing to move it forward. They're brazen enough to take chances and push boundaries while still maintaining the integrity and timelessness that made us love it in the first place.