REJOICE WHEN YOU DIE - The New Orleans Jazz Funerals

A Traveling Exhibition of Photographs

The jazz funerals in New Orleans are an ever changing phenomenon. They are a reflection of life, revealing the passions and philosophies of the living as well as the departed. Frequently, the funerals are arranged according to the wishes of the deceased who has pre-selected the music, and sometimes even the musicians to play the music. They are, above all, a tribute to life rather than a concession to death. These photographs were all taken between 1968 and 1970, and collectively, form an unique historic document of the funerals during that period. The photographs in this exhibition are grouped into three sections:

THE SPECTATORS
The people are drawn by curiosity and form a supporting cast which sometimes numbers in the thousands.
They gather to vicariously sample a happening.

THE FUNERAL PROCESSIONS
The processions to the church are a communion of souls.
They are open demonstrations of an abiding faith in God and his judgement.

THE SECOND LINES
Leaving the cemetery, the mood switches to one of unleashed emotions expressed in dance and music.
Everyone follows the bands through the neighborhoods with crowds sometimes numbering thousands.

These photographs represent an attempt to show the sadness and dignity, the pride and humility, the stillness and motion, the silence and the music of the jazz funeral and the people who are a part of them.


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No. 0426


The Spectators

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No. 0003
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No. 0100
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No. 0109
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No. 0112
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No. 0113
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No. 0092
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No. 0105
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No. 0096
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No. 0097
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No. 0094
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No. 0111



The Processions

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No. 0001
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No. 0054
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No. 0002
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No. 0070
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No. 0010
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No. 0059
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No. 0107
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No. 0006
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No. 0101
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No. 0099
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No. 0007



The Second Lines

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No. 0009
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No. 0114
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No. 0005
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No. 0058
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No. 0069
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No. 068
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No. 0093
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No. 0108
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No. 0055
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No. 0071
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No. 0004
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No. 0008