A Memorial Dirge
The memorial dirge is a reflection of the Second Line’s origination as part of a Jazz Funeral and the Jazz Crawl’s conception as a tribute to a loved one. The earliest form of a New Orleans Second Line took place as a celebration of life in a Jazz Funeral. Following the church service a brass band leads everyone from the chapel to the cemetery with horns blowing and drums beating. The band, the casket, and family members of the deceased make up what is called the ‘first line’, whereas everyone else that follows in respect is referred to as the ‘second line’.
At first the music is slow and somber to pay respect and mourn the loss of life, but then it picks up with an energetic spirit that allows people to put their grief and sadness aside for a moment to celebrate the life that was lived with a parade of singing and dancing. The slow part in the beginning of a Jazz Funeral Second Line is known as the ‘dirge’. It is more specifically defined as a somber song expressing mourning or grief, typically associated with a funeral or memorial rites.
Dirge: Soulful hymn at a Jazz Funeral that pays respect to the life lost.
Second Line Tribute: Memorial donation to honor the memory of someone at the Jazz Crawl with a name commemoration and flower pin.
Engraved Brass Tribute: Memorial donation to honor the memory of someone with their name engraved on one of the donated brass instruments.
Without traditions like a Jazz Funeral it can be hard to joyfully celebrate the life of someone when the pain of losing them is so fresh. This is the inspiration behind the ‘Second Line Tribute’ and ‘Brass Engraving Tribute’ that we offer. The Memorial Donation options give people the opportunity to honor the name and memory of loved ones through the uplifting magic of the Jazz Crawl’s second line. Some of the donation options carry on the tribute past the Jazz Crawl by having their names engraved on one of the instruments we donate to well deserving music students.