A Joyous Path To HeavenThe Steve Tucker All Star Jazz Band has been asked many times to play at funerals and as a result we have put together this page offering some helpful advice.
As many of you will know New Orleans was the birth place of Jazz. In this city the Funeral Jazz Band has long been part of the traditional New Orleans Funeral. A marching parade jazz band would accompany the mourners up to the cemetery playing slow spirituals as they walked, such as "What a friend we have in Jesus", "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and "The Old Rugged Cross". At this point the congregation and family are mourning the passing and loss of a loved one. The Steve Tucker All Star Jazz Band plays suitable music to reflect this.
Many times the mourners would follow the parade marching band displaying brightly coloured umbrellas. Once at the cemetery, and when the body had been interred, the Jazz Band struck up with some rousing New Orleans Jazz to celebrate the life of the recently deceased. It is now time to celebrate the life of the deceased and to be thankful for having known and loved the person we are saying goodbye to.
A change in the tenor of the ceremony takes place, after either the deceased is entombed, or the hearse leaves the procession, and the mourners say their final goodbye and they "cut the body loose". After this the music becomes more upbeat, often starting with a hymn or a spiritual number in a swinging fashion. The two numbers we are most asked for reflect this change in mood "When the Saints Come Marching In" and "When You’re Smiling". Hearing the accompanying band can also be celebratory and wonderfully life affirming.
New Orleans style music at a funeral traditionally captures both the essence of grief and the celebration of life.
This tradition is active today in Devon and Cornwall. The Steve Tucker All Star Jazz Band is able to offer such a service; they are very professional and are sensitive in their approach. The funeral scene in the James Bond film Live and Let Die is often referred to when a relative of the recently deceased contact us to arrange for a New Orleans Jazz Band to play at the funeral. Previous clients have found the addition of the band a great comfort, and a way of lightening what can be a very moving and emotional time.
We normally suggest at least six or more musicians. The band will usually wear appropriate black tie and black suits, or tuxedos and bow ties with special parade hats. Steve takes on the role of Grand Marshall at the front of the procession and wears a black and silver military style jacket, top hat, silver cane, white gloves and carries a tambourine and/or an umbrella. The Steve Tucker All Star Jazz Band are constantly struck by how clients and friends of the deceased are grateful for an opportunity to smile, remembering some happy times and being able to feel uplifted at a time of great sadness.
We work closely with both the client and the funeral directors making sure that we meet their every wish. We understand how emotional the occasion can be and we work sympathetically and compassionately throughout the day.
We suggest you contact us, to talk with Steve about your individual requirements. We can then organise the band to fit in with whatever you would think appropriate for celebrating the life and the leaving of your loved one.
Contact the band by email or by ringing 01271 815582 (during office hours).
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