New York Times: Bryn Mawr’s Harcum College Grad Who Helped Save New Orleans Jazz, Dies at 83

Sandra Jaffe.
Images via Preservation Hall Facebook.
Sandra Jaffe.

Sandra Jaffe, a graduate of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr passed away on Monday at a New Orleans hospital at the age of 83. Mrs. Jaffe and her husband were essential for preserving jazz thanks to the creation of Preservation Hall, writes Richard Sandomir for The New York Times.

Images via Preservation Hall, Facebook.

Sandra Jaffe and her husband were first exposed to jazz while they were in their 20s, and the experience changed their life for the better.

Together the two established Preservation Hall in New Orleans, which has celebrated jazz by hosting performances within the venue for over 60 years.

“There is no question that Preservation Hall saved New Orleans jazz,” said George Wein to Vanity Fair in 2011.

“When it became an institution in New Orleans, everybody who went down there went to the hall. They paid a dollar to go hear people like George Lewis or Sweet Emma Barrett and made them national figures.”

While her husband was the link between the musicians at the Hall and sent them out touring on the road as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mrs. Jaffe, who helped share management duties with her husband, was usually stationed at the front gate collecting money from patrons.

“That’s how she was remembered by many: as the first to interact with people,” said son Ben Jaffe.

Mrs. Sandra Jaffe is survived by her sons Ben and Russell, two sisters, and four grandchildren. Please consider a donation in support of Preservation Hall Foundation music education programs in honor of Mrs. Jaffe here.

Read more about Sandra Jaffe in The New York Times.