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Jazz Legend, Pottsville Native to be Honored with State Historical Marker

Jaffe founded the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Allan Jaffe may not get the recognition of some other Schuylkill County music legends like the Dorsey Brothers, but that’s about to change.

The Pottsville native and tubist will be honored by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) with a marker in his native city some time in 2023.

PHMC announced that Jaffe’s marker will be one of 37 new markers going up across Pennsylvania this year.

Allan Jaffe to be Honored with Historical Marker in Pottsville

Jaffe lived with his wife in Pottsville but eventually moved to New Orleans after falling in love with the city in the 1960s.

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He eventually took over management of the world-renowned Preservation Hall in New Orleans and then started its house band, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, in which he played tuba.

The band still exists today and is actually managed by Jaffe’s son, Ben. You can check out Preservation Hall Jazz Band music here.

Jaffe never left New Orleans – except for touring worldwide with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band – and died in 1987.

But his hometown of Pottsville will be home to an historical marker in his honor. PHMC writes on Jaffe in announcing this year’s new markers: “An internationally renowned musician and entrepreneur, Jaffe is credited with revitalizing early American jazz. He was born in Pottsville and received his musical education there before attending Valley Forge Military Academy and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1961, he established Preservation Hall in New Orleans, LA, and played sousaphone for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.”

<em><small>Images: Detroit Public Library, Louisiana Digital Library</small></em>

Historical Markers in Schuylkill County

Jaffe’s marker will be the 27th such plaque from the PHMC in Schuylkill County. And it’ll be the 6th within the city of Pottsville.

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The others in Pottsville include:

  • Burd Patterson, 803 Mahantongo St.
  • John O’Hara, 606 Mahantongo St.
  • Molly Maguire Executions, outside Schuylkill County Prison
  • Pottsville Maroons, 305 N. Centre St.
  • Schuylkill County, Laurel Blvd. and N. 2nd St. (outside Schuylkill County Courthouse)

Other markers honoring great and well-known Schuylkill County musicians include:

  • Victor Schertzinger, 115 W. Centre St., Mahanoy City
  • The Dorsey Brothers, Chestnut and Oak Sts., Shenandoah
  • Les Brown, 1944 E. Grand Ave., Reinerton

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