Preservation Hall Jazz Band to highlight McCarter Theatre’s 2023 Gala

Performance by legendary New Orleans group highlights event dubbed ‘Bourbon Street Gala’

The 2023 Gala for the McCarter Theatre is bringing a touch of New Orleans to Princeton.

Dubbed the “Bourbon Street Gala,” this year’s event, to be held April 22, will feature the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, performing at the venue for the first time since 2006.

Established in 1961 in the heart of the French Quarter, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years — all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward.

“If you haven’t experienced the New Orleans brass sounds of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, you’re in for a treat,” Paula Abreu, McCarter’s director of special programming, said. “This is a world-class group of musicians whose legacy expands decades, and whose history intertwines deeply with the history of jazz and of their own city.

“It’s quite the experience to visit their home base in the French Quarter — and McCarter will be a new stop ‘on Bourbon Street’ — as the band hits the Matthews stage to bring us warmth leading into spring.”

The Bourbon Street Gala will feature an online auction with exclusive items and experiences, as well as tented spaces on the theater’s grounds for dining and dancing.

The event agenda looks like this:

  • 5:30 p.m.: Cocktail party
  • 7 p.m.: Performance by Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • 8:30 p.m.: Bourbon Street Party

McCarter Theatre, an independent, not-for-profit performing arts center located between New York City and Philadelphia — and on the campus of Princeton University — is a multidisciplinary creative and intellectual hub offering theater, music, dance, spoken word and educational programs for all ages that inspires conversations, connections and collaborations in communities.

The gala will raise money to support McCarter’s artistic and arts education programming throughout the year. (For ticket and sponsorship information, click here.)

This year’s event promises to be better than ever, said W. Rochelle Calhoun, vice president for campus life at Princeton University and the chair of McCarter Theatre Center board.

“The performing arts bring us together as a community and are an important part of the economic fabric of our town and our state,” she said. “The 2023 gala celebrates the local and national impact of this leading organization while raising important funds that support McCarter’s longstanding tradition of bringing artists from across the globe to our stages.”