A brass band blares. A hand-decorated parasol twirls. A ragtag group behind the band waves handkerchiefs to the beat of the drum, while a grand marshal in a snazzy suit and jaunty hat leads the way — out-dancing, out buck-jumping them all as he waves his feathered fan. Lucky you. Everyone is welcome to join in and many do. This feeling of pure happiness that swells up in your chest.
Things to know
Paused through September 10.
It would not be outrageous to claim that the musical traditions of New Orleans were the wellspring of twentieth-century popular music. Over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, black musicians in New Orleans developed a unique rhythmic syntax which underlies Crescent City jazz, rhythm and blues, and funk music. Due in part to their widespread influence, second line rhythms are a foundational component of many international jazz and popular music styles today. In second line parades, two drummers establish the central rhythm. As with a typical marching band, the bass drummer plays on the one and the three. The snare drummer, however, improvises march-style beats that often depart from the standard accents on the two and the four. Second line drummers vary the standard march beat with syncopations, added notes, and shifting patterns of accents, while revelers joining the parade provide additional layers of rhythm with hand percussion, bottles, sticks, and improvised instruments Stewart The rhythms of the second line parade are a composite of native and imported musical traditions that include features of standard marches, African-American church music, Caribbean rhythms like the son and the rumba , and black slave dances both sacred and secular. While many musicological and historical studies have focused on the absorption of second line rhythm into jazz drumming styles, studies of the relationship between second line rhythm and the highly syncopated, groove-centered genre known as funk are a relatively recent development. As Jim Payne has written in his book Give the Drummers Some , James Brown, the progenitor of the funk genre and arguably the single most important American musician of the late twentieth century, transformed the rhythmic vocabulary of popular music by adapting rhythms taught to him by a pair of New Orleans-schooled drummers.
What is a second line?
New Orleans, United States. Second Line Music Experience. Paused through September
The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the SAPC with the parading permit as well as the brass band. The Second Line consists of people who follow the band to enjoy the music, dance, and engage in "community. It is one of the most African-retentive cultures in the United States. The Second Line has its origins in traditional West African circle or ring dances. The Second Line tradition was brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans,  where it became a ritual for Africans in America, especially in various processions, including funerals. Some scholars believe that the West African ring featured children drumming with adults dancing that in turn, forced the ring to straighten into a line. These dances were officially banned for a time because they were deemed threatening to the white inhabitants of the city, and their resurgence in the Second Line culture suggests a similar celebration of individual freedom. SAPCs assisted members through illness and supported families with burial costs for deceased members. This is a carry-over from African traditions that believed in celebrating the member's spirit leaving the body to return to the ancestors and God. This led to what became known as a "jazz funeral", with the SAPC members marching in a dirge with a brass band before the deceased body being "cut loose" and a celebratory parade begins.