A second line is an element of a jazz funeral procession that is composed of two parts: The main or “first line” that comprises the parade leader, the brass band and the krewe or club with which the band is affiliated, and members of the funeral party. The “second line” is made up of spectators—friends of the deceased, neighbors, and even tourist—who follow the main line dancing, partying, and reveling in the moving spectacle. Second lines often give the appearance of a being block party on the move. During a trip to New Orleans, I had the opportunity to document a second line parade that took place in the historic Treme neighborhood and consisted of several thousand participants.
About the Treme
The Tremé—named after Hat maker and real estate developer Claude Tremé —is one of oldest African American neighborhoods in the U.S. and home to Congo Square, an area where enslaved blacks were allowed to congregate on Sundays to play music and sell goods. The Tremé is the birthplace of jazz and has long been a fecund source of cultural creativity. Famous musicians born in the Tremé include Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet, Kermit Ruffins, and Troy “Trombone Shorty” among many others. Because I am an ardent jazz fan and have a passionate interest in the culture and history of New Orleans, I have developed a deep connection with this city and this neighborhood.
One of my photos from this series was published in the British Journal of Photography’s 2020 Portrait of Humanity Book Vol. 2. That photo appears below and is titled Man with a Cigar. A U.S. exhibition featuring 50 images from the book will be held during 2020-2021. Dates and locations for the exhibition are to be determined. Read press coverage about the announcement of the 2020 Portrait of Humanity Shortlist.
All images in this series are printed with an Epson Stylus Pro 11880 inkjet printer, which represents the state of the art in pigment printing.
Unframed print sizes are 16″ x by 24″. Read more about print sales.