A second line she said can happen and often does when a brass band takes to the street to march for everything from a jazz funeral to jazz fest. The band is the first line in the parade and the people who dance behind the band become the second line. The dancing often involves waving a handkerchief in the air and some dancers even have very ornately decorated umbrellas.
The origin of the second line is synonymous with a jazz funeral parade and began in the tribes of Africa. When Africans were captured or kidnapped in their homeland and brought to America as slaves they were determined to preserve this tradition of burying their loved ones with a musical sendoff. That eventually became the jazz funeral and second line parade. In New Orleans they were able to continue their heritage and pass it along to future generations.
I was not chosen for the commercial but I did give it my best shot that day. The good news is I did get the opportunity to be a part of several second line parades when I lived in New Orleans (one after the Saints won the Super bowl comes to mind, Who Dat!) It's an extraordinary experience when strangers on the street become friends in the moment through the power of music and dance.
This deeply rooted New Orleans’ tradition of brass bands and second lines is just one of the things that inspired the producers of New Orleans Live to share the music and culture of this unique city with the world. This fall New Orleans Live debuts and the hour long live music television show will have you grabbing your handkerchief and dancing along at home. Each week the show will feature three musical acts including brass bands, performing that indigenous sound so often heard marching through the streets of New Orleans.
New Orleans Live