Perhaps during one of your drunken jaunts through New Orleans' French Quarter you've happened upon a quaint little place called Preservation Hall. And maybe, during all the slurring and the spinning, you got the itch to hear some genuine New Orleans-style jazz and went in for a gander. You stumbled into the dark room, plopped down on a wooden bench and looked eye-to-eye with the band, some seven-odd feet in front of you. You remember that the glimmer from their brass instruments was almost as bright as their smiles, and you recall a curious sign on the wall behind them. The details are fuzzy, but it quoted different prices for different songs. Most went for only a dollar or two, but you distinctly remember chuckling about how they charged five bucks to play "The Saints." You remember being enthralled by the band's genial attitude and their raucous, playful playing -- they weren't just going through the motions. When the band played, the room lit up with joy and warmth stronger than brandy in your belly, and you knew that what you were witnessing beat Mardi Gras any day.
Seeing the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Sheldon will probably not be as singular of an experience as seeing them in their native environs, but we can guarantee that you'll hear some damn good jazz. -- Guy Gray
Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets $32-$38; call 314-533-9900 for more information.
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