Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has said that in trying to make the years of the early 20th century come alive in his films, he discovered that jazz music – what he describes as the “soundtrack of America” during those decades – did the trick. “Using jazz music to illustrate the 20s, the 30s, the 40s and the 50s drew me to jazz,” he recalls. “I had to know something about it. And as I learned more about it, I wanted to make a film about it.” The journey of discovery that resulted in Ken Burns’s acclaimed documentary Jazz has inspired a one-of-a-kind travel experience crafted by Ken Burns and Tauck to celebrate this uniquely American music in the uniquely American city in which it was born.
Returning for another encore after successful appearances in 2011 and 2013,
The Tauck Jazz Event, a Ken Burns Event, brings guests together March 25 – 29, 2015 in the birthplace of jazz – New Orleans – for five extraordinary days of live musical performances, themed sightseeing and exclusive experiences... including a personal appearance by Ken Burns. You’ll visit some of the places in New Orleans that played a role in the creation and history of jazz in the French Quarter and throughout the city, from Basin Street and Preservation Hall to NOCCA and Tremé. You’ll explore jazz archives and collections, museums and historic sites with insights from musicians, scholars and historians... as well as from master storyteller Ken Burns himself, in a keynote address at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts that's followed by an opportunity to meet Ken and a special private performance by Ellis Marsalis. But most importantly, you’ll enjoy exclusive opportunities to hear this glorious music live – performed by artists including pianist and jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis, saxophonist and singer Donald Harrison, and groups like Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Doreen's Jazz New Orleans, and the Dukes of Dixieland – in venues ranging from legendary Preservation Hall to a steamboat on the Mississippi River aboard a jazz-filled farewell dinner cruise.
The event is limited to 210 guests. Daily sightseeing will be in intimate small groups of approximately 35 Tauck guests. Each group, accompanied by a dedicated Tauck Director along with local experts and guides, will embark daily on one of three custom-crafted sightseeing tracks designed to showcase the nature, history and cultural significance of jazz music, and the topics that Ken Burns sees as critical to our understanding and appreciation of it: “Roots of Jazz,” “Jazz in the Quarter” and “Jazz & the Story of Survival Today.” Later, all groups gather to enjoy extraordinary evenings of live jazz – and more – together.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience brings to life the stories, personalities, events and influences that have shaped – and continue to shape – the music we know as jazz. Below is a sample itinerary that follows one of our five-day sightseeing track schedules:
Sample Day-By-Day Itinerary
1. Arrive New Orleans, LA
Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes / Welcome Cocktail Reception at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans / Welcome Dinner with jazz trio at Arnaud’s
2. Roots of Jazz
Basin Street / St. Louis Cemetery #1 / Lunch in a historic saloon / Garden District Tour / Bruce Boyd Raeburn Talk & Jazz Greats Collection Viewing with curator Greg Lambousy at Old U.S. Mint
Exclusive Keynote Address by Ken Burns at NOCCA; Open House / Performance by Ellis Marsalis
3. Jazz in the Quarter
French Quarter / Cabildo Tour with Charles Chamberlain / Private Performance at Preservation Hall / Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch
Donald Harrison & Congo Nation Mardi Gras Indians
4. Jazz & the Story of Survival Today
Nellie Watson Talk, Ritz-Carlton / Tour of Tremé / Backstreet Cultural Museum / St. Augustine Church
Gala Farewell Dinner Cruise on Steamboat Natchez with Doreen’s Jazz & Dukes of Dixieland
5. Talk by Lolis Eric Elie; fly home after 11:30 AM.
Airport transfers included.