NEW ORLEANS (CelebrityAccess) – Sandra Jaffe, who co-founded the historic Preservation Hall in New Orleans has passed at the age of 83. Jaffe died on Monday as reported on the venue’s Facebook page by her son, Ben Jaffe, Creative Director of the Preservation Hall. No Cause of Death was indicated.
Jaffe and her husband Allan, who passed in 1987, were jazz aficionados from a youthful age, when a trip to New Orleans captivated them both. Gallery owner Larry Borenstein, who had hosted local artists at his venue introduced the couple to some old-timer jazz musicians, as reported on the Hall’s official website. Borenstein then offered them the space to continue with the shows as a business and thus began the story of the Preservation Hall. In an interview with Patches, Sandra commented, “When I heard the music for the first time, it felt like a total transformation. We found a whole new world. The music was just wonderful.”
According to her obituary, penned by her son Ben, he said Sandy Jaffe was once arrested for violating segregation laws still in force at the time. The New Orleans Advocate reported that she even threw out the occasional rowdy customer. In an interview with Relix, son Ben commented, “My parents’ greatest creation was to offer the world this gift, by celebrating the African-American music tradition that had transformed them enough that they uprooted their lives and moved to New Orleans.” Countless locals and tourists have descended on the cozy venue to hear their rotating cast of musicians.
Like many other venues, the Preservation Hall was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It re-opened in June with Sandra Jaffe in attendance but has since closed again due to the Omicron variant surge. Sandra is survived by her two sons, Ben Jaffe and Russell Jaffe, two sisters, Resa Lambert and Brenda Epstein and four grandchildren, Allaina, Rebecca, William and Emma Lena.