"The Jazz Funeral" Top 5 Page for this destination New Orleans Local Custom Tip by VeronicaG
New Orleans Local Customs: 176 reviews and 205 photos
New Orleans has the unique tradition of The Jazz Funeral, something we did not witness on our visit to this city.
Renowned New Orleans jazzman, Sidney Bechet once commented, "Music here is as much a part of death as it is of life." The New Orleans jazz funeral is a celebration rooted in the African culture that extends back 400 years.
As was the practice, tribesmen were assured a proper burial at their time of death. The practice of having music accompanying their funerals was just part of the basic African pattern of celebration throughout life. When slaves were brought to America, the urge to guarantee a proper burial was bred into their spirits.
Brass bands became popular in the early 18th century and were commonly asked to perform processional music. In the black community, a sorrowful song such as 'Nearer My God To Thee' was played on the way to the cemetery, while the return trip called for happier tunes such as 'When the Saints Go Marching In'.
Today a jazz funeral is a respectful tribute to a fellow musician and certainly something to behold!
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