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The Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Hall opened in what is now Old Mandeville in 1895, established by a group of civic-minded African-American residents as a venue for raising funds for needy individuals in their community. It is believed to be the world's oldest unaltered rural jazz hall.
Located in the 400 block of Lamarque Street, just blocks from the Mandeville lakefront, the unpainted wooden structure looks as it did more than a century ago, when musicians playing a new type of music called "Jazz" took steamboats across the lake from New Orleans to the hall. Among them were early greats Buddy Petit and Kid Ory; later a young Louis Armstrong.
The Dew Drop is still hosting musicians, now brought in by Friends of the Dew Drop in the fall and spring. They play for visitors sitting on wooden benches inside, or outside on lawn chairs (windows are thrown open so sound carries). It's a truly magical Southern experience. Press play on our videos above and below to listen to some of the sweet sounds of the Dew Drop, and then come to the Northshore in person to experience it for yourself.
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