Salon Series: 'Til The Butcher Cuts Him Down,' A Film Screening and Conversation with Dodie Smith-Simmons & Will Smith and his Preservation All Stars

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Til’ The Butcher Cuts Him Down: A Film Screening and Conversation with Dodie Smith-Simmons + Will Smith & His Preservation All-Stars

About the Film:

A superb study of the history and men who played New Orleans Jazz through the eyes of one of its greatest trumpet players: Punch Miller (died 1971). Kid Punch was renowned in New Orleans and played with all the greats from that city --King Oliver, Kid Ory, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong. This film is about his life and the changes that New Orleans music went through during his lifetime. The film is narrated by the late jazz historian William Russell.


About Dodie Smith-Simmons:

Dorotha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons was one of Preservation Hall’s first “helpers-out” who remained close to the Hall for four decades.  When she discovered the Hall in the early 1960s, she was a student and a staff worker for CORE (Congress for Racial Equality), and at 17 set out in 1961 as one of 400 Americans now known as Freedom Riders.  During her tenure at the Hall & The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, “Ms. Dodie” was a fixture in hundreds of musicians lives, including the subject of our featured film Ernest “Kid Punch” Miller.

About Will Smith:

Will Smith grew up in Preservation Hall, where his sister Dodie Smith-Simmons worked, and his brother-in-law, trumpeter John “Kid” Simmons, sometimes played. His parents eventually bought him a trumpet, and it’s been traditional New Orleans jazz for him ever since; Will’s never wanted to play another genre. The musicians Will grew up with and who influenced him – people like Percy Humphrey, Ernie Cagnolatti, Kid Thomas Valentine, De De Pierce – remain a part of his musical fiber, and a part of his sound.

The Salon Series at 726 St. Peter is an expansion of Preservation Hall’s mission to Protect, Preserve, and Perpetuate through explorations of music, visual art, film, dance, digital content, and collaboration featuring Artists from both our resident musical collective as well as regional and visiting artists from all genres and disciplines.  As a venue and platform for sustaining traditions and fostering community from its inception, #Salon726 presentations offer a unique environment for Creators to celebrate the past, present, and future with new presentations that that cross discipline, geography, and perspective.