Mahalia Jackson Theatre re-opens

Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins and more shined along with the newly reopened Mahalia Jackson Theater – Keith Spera – Times-Picayune –

“Preservation Hall tuba player and creative director Ben Jaffe stood at the lip of the stage and gazed out into the theater as it emptied. ‘There’s a lot of memories here,’ he said.”

It has been over three years since the great flood of 2005. In the summer of 2005 there were three nice large downtown theater venues in New Orleans: the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts, The Saenger, and The Orpheum. From September 2005 until last weekend there were none. Now there is one.

Ben is right about the memories. The first time I played with Wardell Quezergue’s Big band was at MJTPA. I played there with a reggae band, and I played a Wagner opera (Das Rheingold) there. I’ve been on the receiving end of lots of great music there as well. It’s nice to have her back.