Published on March 17, 2014
A CELEBRATION FOR THE LIVING Kendra Harmer
New Orleans The music of New Orleans incorporates various styles of music; borrowed from earlier traditions. Universally considered to be the birthplace of the jazz genre. Jazz in New Orleans has taken on various forms that have either branched out from original Dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. "Music here is as much a part of death as it is of life." - Sidney Bechet
History The tradition of having music at funerals comes from the African pattern of celebration, which takes place in most aspects of life. 18th century – as brass bands came into style, they were called upon to play in parades and processions. They were not frequently called upon for funerals until the early 20th century when the ragtime styled tunes became more popular.
Jazz Funerals This idea caught on among the African- American population of the deep south The tradition was not welcomed by the Catholic church, and so was restricted largely to the black Protestants of New Orleans Partly because of the Catholic Church’s disapproval, the idea of the jazz funeral waned in the early 1950's. The wild festivities ignored the attitude about the required solemnity of the traditional memorial service.
The Procession • Begins with a march by the family, friends, and a brass band. • The march starts at the funeral home or church, and ends at the cemetery. • The mood stays somber until the deceased has been laid to rest. • People on the are welcome to join in they are referred to as the “second line.” • The music and dancing encourage a therapeutic release for mourners as well as a celebration for a life well lived.
The music and dancing of the jazz funeral have two purposes: - Help the deceased find their way to heaven - Celebrate the final release from the bonds of their earthly life Music and Dance
Origins The tradition combines African practices Haitian Voodoo idea of celebrating after death The Celebrating pleases the spirits of the after life. A proper funeral was needed for the spirit of the deceased to move on
Recent Days Over time, the jazz funeral tradition has grown to become New Orleans’ most honored of funeral ceremonies. They now incorporate horse-drawn hearses and parades for fallen police officers, well-known musicians, and other pillars of the community. The traditional music of the jazz funeral began to fuse with influences from the funk and hip-hop world as street gangs and rappers alike adopted this style for honoring their dead. One of the latest jazz funerals was that of rapper James “Soulja Slim” Tapp, the service drew a crowd of thousands
The tradition of the New Orleans jazz funeral has dispersed somewhat in the wake of Hurricane Katrina The victims of the Hurricane were given a final goodbye in the true New Orleans style. The New Orleans funeral with music has grown to achieve its own respected standing among the many ways to commemorate the passage of a loved one. The New Orleans jazz funeral salutes a life well lived and the passage of a departed soul into a better world. The Jazz Funeral Today
References (1989). 1932-1943 The Bluebird Sessions [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.parisjazzcorner.com/en/dis_fiche.php?ArtNum=3221 Barker, D. (1973). Bo urbo n Stre e t black. Oxford Univeristy Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/about/Bourbon_Street_Black.html?id=FpmfAAAAMAAJ Juan, J. (Photographer). (2011, May ). Olympia Brass Band [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://trumpetesetrombones.blogspot.com/2011/05/olympia-brass-band-new-orleans-la.html Ne w O rle ans ja zz fune ralba nds a nd m usic . (2013). Retrieved from http://www.jazznotjazz.co.uk/new_orleans_jazz_funeral.asp Ne w O rle ans ja zz fune ralcusto m s. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.funeralwise.com/customs/neworleans/ Piazza, T. (Photographer). (1969). Slowdrag [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://coochiecrunch.com/2013/01/27/quote-for-the-week-33/ Salvatore, S. (Videographer) (2009). Ne w o rle a ns traditio naljazz a nd fune ralba nd [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAH-lE71wE4&list=WL586DC5E65435153F Salvatore, S. (Videographer) (2009). Ne w o rle a ns traditio naljazz a nd fune ralba nd [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAH-lE71wE4&list=WL586DC5E65435153F Tama, M. (Photographer). (2009). Second Line Parade [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/original-big-7-social-and-pleasure-club-hold-a-traditional-second-line- parade-the-seventh-ward The jazz fune ra l. (1996). Retrieved from http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/multicultural/multiculturaltraditions/jazzfuneral.html The Sidne y be che t so cie ty. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.sidneybechet.org/about-sidney-bechet/ Thursby, J. S. (2006). Fune ralfe stiva ls in Am e rica: Rituals fo r the living . (p. 39). Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.
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