Resurrecting the Eagle Saloon with jazz

NEW ORLEANS--There is a building on South Rampart Street near City Hall that was around for the birth of jazz.

It was once the Eagle Saloon. And, a group of musicians and caring citizens want to bring it back.

The Eagle Saloon Initiative is having a fundraising concert tomorrow (Dec. 28) at the Joy Theater called the "Resurrection Ball." The lineup includes some of the biggest names in jazz:  Dr. Michael White, Donald Harrison, Delfeayo Marsalis, Germaine Bazzle, Charlies Gabriel, and more.

The John Michael Bradford Trio will also be on stage for the event. They recently stopped by the News with a Twist studio to perform a couple of jazz standards.

The Eagle Saloon sits on a stretch of South Rampart Street that was a commercial center for African Americans and Orthodox Jews around the turn of the 20th century. That mixing of cultures had a profound effect on New Orleans musicians, including jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

"He [Armstrong] always said he loved Jewish food," says Randy Fertel, Eagle Saloon Ambassador and author of A Taste For Chaos. "But he--most important--he said he learned how to sing from the heart while listening to Tillie Karnofsky's Russian lullabies. So, how these cultures intermeshed is really crucial in understanding how jazz emerged."

The Eagle Saloon is scheduled to open in 2019 as a music and educational venue and a studio for musicians.

The Resurrection Ball is tomorrow (Dec. 28) at the Joy Theater. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Check out the Eagle Saloon Initiative's website for more information and tickets.