Friday Morning Opening Keynote

Friday October 20, 2023 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Mona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D.

Louisiana Poet Laureate

Portrait of Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D. Louisiana Poet Laureate

Mona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D., Louisiana Poet Laureate (2021-23) is an award-winning author & folklorist, educator, and scholar of Creole culture in articles, documentaries, and poems about Black New Orleans before and after Katrina. Currently, Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor of English at Dillard University, Dr. Saloy documented Creole culture in sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. She writes on the significance of the Black Beat poets–especially Bob Kaufman, on the African American Toasting Tradition, Black talk, and on keeping Creole to today. Books: Red Beans & Ricely Yours, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award; Second Line Home, captures New Orleans speech, family dynamics, celebrates New Orleans, the unique culture the world loves. Saloy’s screenplay for the documentary Easter Rock premiered in Paris, the Ethnograph Film Festival & at the national Black museum. She’s lectured on Black Creole Culture at Poets House-NYC; the Smithsonian; Purdue University; the University of Washington; and Woodland Patterns Book Center, and on Black Beats at the Sorbonne & the New York Museum of Art. Her documentary, Bleu Orleans, is on Black Creole Culture. She is an editorial reviewer for Meridians: Feminism, race, transnationalism. See her recently published verse in I am New Orleans, anthology. University of New Orleans Press, 2021; in the Chicago Quarterly Review, Vol. 33, Anthology of Black American Literature, and Obsidian journal (Fall 2022); in Black FIRE!!! This Time Anthology, 2022; and in Tribes journal NYC, April 2022; & featured in Persimmon journal 2023. Her newest collection: Black Creole Chronicles: Poems (University of New Orleans Press) 2023. Mona Lisa Saloy writes for those who don’t or can’t tell Black Creole cultural stories. Tweet to @redbeansista

Saturday Morning Keynote

Saturday October 21, 2023 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ben Jaffe

Bass | Creative Director, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

As son of co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, Ben has lived his whole life with the rhythm of the French Quarter pulsing through his veins. Raised in the company of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, Ben returned from his collegiate education at Oberlin College in Ohio to play with the group and assume his father’s duties as Director of Preservation Hall. Today he serves as Creative Director for both PHJB and the Hall itself, where he has spearheaded such programs as the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.

Preservation Hall

Situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street, the Preservation Hall venue presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts over 360 nights a year featuring ensembles from a current collective of 50+ local master practitioners. On any given night, audiences bear joyful witness to the evolution of this venerable and living tradition.

Preservation Hall website
Preservation Hall Foundation website