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brass band french quarter new orleans
New orleans Jazzfest 2018

New Orleans Brass

One afternoon we went to JazzFest to run into chanting and dancing members of a brass band waving ostrich-plume fans,  wearing suits and hats in vibrant colours.

The brass band is part of a typical New Orleans’ phenomenon called Social Aid and Pleasure Club. On Sundays, the only day off for workers in the former French colony, people would march behind brass bands winding their way through the streets in an energetic song, drum and dance parade. These parades serve as social appropriations of the public space emphasising a strong black cultural identity. The suit changes in cut, design and colour every season. Yet, this form of collective dance also embodies a source of pride, not solely for the club members in their finest, but for other participants as well.