Good times at the
Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall
If only old buildings and old live oak trees could talk. While that may border on cliche, it is certainly true for the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall built in 1895, the same year that historians agree that traditional American jazz was being invented across Lake Pontchartrain in New Oerleans.
By the turn of the century inventive young musicians who are now considered icons in the historic development of this unique New Orleans musical gift to the world, were making their way by steamer boat to Mandeville to play on the small stage of the Dew Drop.
If the old walls of the building and the old stage could speak, along with the graceful ancient live oaks around the building, they all would likely tell of the times that Kid Ory, Bunk Johson, Buddy Petit, Louis Armstrong and so many others made beautiful music well into the long and starry nights in Mandeville and the faithful gathered to listen and to dance the night away.
We can’t bring back that first generation of legends of jazz but we, Friends of the Dew Drop, invite you to come visit our hallowed monument to the growth of this musical form. We can throw open the wooden shutters to “catch a breeze of the lake” as they used to say before there were electric fans or air conditioning and we can put on stage modern day bands faithful to that glorious music.
And if you sit on one of the old wooden benches inside the building, close your eyes, and let a joyful clarinet waft through the old building, you too may feel what so many say they feel: a spirit of a legacy shared in the vibrations in the old wooden walls.
Come pass a good time at the Dew Drop.