Theft of band gear is inexcusable under any circumstance, but every so often a story comes out that really makes you scream “WTF?!” This week’s edition comes from living New Orleans legends Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who report their prized sousaphone tuba was jacked after an appearance at Music Box Village in their home city this past weekend.
According to NOLA.com, the instrument was stolen after it was left briefly unattended in a car as the band were loading out after their show. The car was parked a few blocks from the venue, the paper notes, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band creative director Ben Jaffe says the tuba was left unattended for a brief few minutes.
But that was enough time for a thief to make away with it.
The horn is manufactured in Milan by Mario Corso, and features the band’s unmistakable signature in black and white lettering around its bell. Jeffe secured the horn after his previous one was lost during Hurricane Katrina, and it has appeared on recordings and stages around the world with the group ever since.
“It’s become a part of my history and part of the band’s history and part of the city’s history,” Jaffe tells NOLA.com. “That horn is a symbol of the rebirth of this city… The relationship a musician develops with their instrument is unlike really anything else. It’s this physical thing that helps you communicate your art. Without it, I’m just a guy literally blowing hot air.”
A reward has been offered for its return, and the band has set up an anonymous hotline for tips: 504.418.0367.
“I have faith and confidence in the universe the horn will resurface and find its way back home,” Jaffe writes on Instagram. Check the post below.
Sadly and unfortunately the signature Preservation Hall Sousaphone Tuba went missing from my vehicle parked a block away following our performance Saturday night at @neworleans.airlift. I purchased this instrument shortly after Hurricane Katrina to replace the instrument I lost in the storm. We are offering a reward for its return. Please call tel:504-418-0367 with any information regarding its whereabouts. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. I have faith and confidence in the universe the horn will resurface and find its way back home. #keepyourheadup #soitis #givememytubaback