Actually, My Feet died First!
New Orleans Jazz Funeral Comes to Eureka!
A typical jazz funeral begins with a processional march by the family and friends, joined by a brass band that would leave from the home, funeral home, or church – to the cemetery. Throughout the march, the band plays somber dirges and hymns – very slowly and mournfully – such as: "Amazing Grace" and ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’
A change in the tenor of the ceremony takes place, after either the deceased is buried, or when the hearse leaves the procession and members say their final good bye as they ‘cut the body loose.’
Then, the music becomes more upbeat, often starting with a hymn or spiritual number played in a swinging fashion, such as striking up a rousing 'When the Saints Go Marching In,' or pounding out popular hot tunes such as 'Didn't He Ramble,' or catching ragtime songs.
With raucous music and cathartic dancing, onlookers join in to celebrate the life of the deceased. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line" and their style of dancing, in which they walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is also called the "second line".
Go ahead -- Ask me -- Why a Jazz Funeral ?
Firstly, I intended to have a Jazz Funeral for myself when in New Orleans – Dead –not Live
Secondly, I stated to numerous folks of my intention for a Jazz Funeral here in Eureka.
Thirdly, when selecting the Eureka Gras Theme for 2012, back in 2009, I decided that the Dec 21 Mayan Calendar would decide my Jazz Funeral date – Dead or Alive!
Fourthly, as Krewe of Krazo Captain, I can never be King of Krazo -- so now I can Reign in another World!
Fifthly, Dec 21, 2012 coincides astrologically with the End of the Piscean Age and the Beginning of the Age of Aquarius.
Therefore, a Fauxneral is Born:
The intent of the Jazz Funeral is to see how many people, local and tourist, can be counted on as Participators and as Spectators – hopefully ranging at 1,000 or more.
Spectators are urged to also become participants in joining the “Second Line” of the Funeral.
The Jazz Funeral will proceed in a series of Processions through three different Venues -- each, during which – will have a unique Scenario conducive to news-worthy publicity including Photos and Videos – as well as providing Fun for all.
It is further the intent to cause this episode to become an annual event based on other Volunteers stepping up to celebrate their own Jazz Funerals. (I am assured of at least one candidate so far.)
The core of the Participators will be the members of the Krewe of Blarney Halfast Kaptains Klub, now numbering 25 as Pallbearers and their wives (12 to 18) as professional Mourners — in addition to members of the Krewe of Krazo Cavaliers that could generate an additional 8 to 20 persons.
Two groups of Mourners will vie against each other at the "Wailing Wall"
The “Eureka Jazz Band” will be wholly volunteer, consisting of local “musicians” -- other impromptu groups are welcome at each venue.
Friday, December 21, 2012
The Wake – Rowdy Beaver Restaurant – 4pm to 5pm — Eulogy by Al Hooks
Gospel Sing -- by Cne' Breaux -- Closer Walk with Thee
Procession – Load up on Trolleys, in Limos and convertibles. Family Members First.
The Ceremony – Pied Piper – Ceremonial dedication to Life – 5:15 to 6:15pm
Gospel Sing -- by Father Shaun -- Amazing Grace
Testimonials by Rick Bost, LeRoy Gorrell, Rob Knapp, and other dignitaries
Wailing Contest -- Two Groups of Mourners will Wail at the Wailing Wall
Procession – Nearer My God to Thee and Amazing Grace (played very slow and mellow) – Hearse with coffin, lead by Kaptain’s Klub Pallbearers followed by Eureka Jazz Band and Drums – followed by Mourners with black hats and black umbrellas (Public is invited to participate in “Second Line” behind official mourners.)
The Funeral – New Delhi Café – 6:30pm to 7:30pm – Coffin is leaned against building front and “Ellis Effigy” is burned and ashes placed in urn.
Viking Funeral -- Supervised by Rod McGuire and Sir Charles Templeton.
Procession – led by Jim Swiggart's Original Eureka Jazz Band -- "When the Saints go Marching In"
To Pied Piper Parking Lot to re-enter vehicles
The Reception – Rowdy Beaver Restaurant – Hallelujah Time! – 8:00pm – 'til
A Reincarnated Vision! -- by Dan Ellis representing the End of the Piscean Age and the Beginning of the Age of Aquarius.
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