A showcase of local creativity, a gift of music to youth groups, and preservation of the traditional New Orleans Second Line.
Each Jazz Crawl positively impacts local communities and the city of New Orleans in many ways. Above all, it is a chance for people to remember and honor the life of loved ones they have lost with a high spirited Second Line celebration and a memorial donation that aids the talents of aspiring young students of music. The most powerful element of a traditional New Orleans Second Line is how the spirit of the music moves participants to let loose physically and mentally.
For centuries, its original form as a graveyard procession at Jazz Funerals has allowed grieving family members and friends of the recently deceased to put their mourning and troubled emotions aside to show respect for the life lived with a high spirited celebration. It doesn’t change the reality of losing someone dear, but it creates a brief moment of magic to say goodbye properly. I think most people would want their loved ones to joyfully celebrate their life at the time of their passing, but this can be difficult when the heartache is so fresh.
Donating instruments and funding music scholarships in the name of loved ones.
The impact of the Jazz Crawl has strengthened and evolved with each new installment of the event. Last year was the first time we donated engraved memorial instruments to talented students that can’t afford to own their own, and we’re continuing to improve the way our donations impact the lives of young students of music in the name of loved ones not with us anymore.
We plan on partnering with more schools and nonprofit organizations in Charleston as well as New Orleans to broaden our reach and diversify the memorial donation options through various scholarships and other lasting contributions. The donations and activities of the event are also intended to serve as an education for the donation recipients and attendees that enjoy the festivities. We are doing our part to preserve the beautiful tradition of the New Orleans second line by sharing the celebration as far and wide as we can. The Jazz Crawl has also inspired young students to explore the historical impact New Orleans culture has had on music in our country.
Charleston’s best musicians take center stage along with students from local music schools.
Local musicians and bands are showcased at each location throughout the event as they perform the songs and different styles of music born in New Orleans. In addition to the second line brass you may hear Dixieland Jazz, Funk, Zydeco, and anything else that represents New Orleans music.
This type of variety reflects the belief that New Orleans is the root source of American music. The strong musical identities of the French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean populations that contributed to the early development of New Orleans make the city’s rich musical culture as diverse as the ingredients you’d find in a pot of jambalaya.
The Jazz Crawl also gives kids the memorable experience of performing in front of a downtown crowd. After the first second line procession the group stops to take a break for refreshments and enjoy a performance by the students of a local music school. Once it is time to move, the students kick off the final second line procession on the way to Prohibition for dinner, more music, and the artist showcase.
The ‘Krewe’ is outfitted by a local designer and the event ends with an artist showcase.
A local designer provides hand crafted items to vibrantly bring the second line to life. Festively colored parasols, hats, handkerchiefs, ties, sashes, Mardi Gras beads, boas, and royal crowns get everyone in the second lining mood for when those horns start blowing. Some of the designer’s items are available for purchase with the proceeds going towards the music donations collected from the event. The creole dinner at Prohibition is highlighted by local artists displaying works that support the theme of the event, or highlight the similarities between the sister cities of New Orleans and Charleston. Oak trees, beautiful homes, churches, creeks, and marshes go along with the vibrant paintings of music, food, and dancing to make for a unique decor. The beautiful art creates an amazing atmosphere to enjoy dinner and listen to live music.
To further support local artists and designers a new poster is designed for each year’s Jazz Crawl. A contest is held to see who can design the most popular piece of artwork that combines visual elements of Charleston with visual elements of the Jazz Crawl or New Orleans. A limited amount of the winning piece is produced and sold to support the talented artist and add to the charitable contributions. This concept reflects the tradition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, more commonly known as ‘Jazz Fest’, unveiling a new work of art as the official event poster each year.
A taste of New Orleans interpreted by the best bartenders and chefs in the city.
Charleston has some of the best restaurants, chefs, and bartenders in the country so there aren’t many cities more prepared for the challenge of recreating the classic dishes and cocktails iconic to New Orleans. The sponsors that provide the cuisine and spirits during the Jazz Crawl for Charity are recognized at each spot and promoted throughout the year via digital media. Hungry Jazz Crawlers may get to taste some King Cake, red beans and rice, jambalaya, crawfish etoufe, gumbo, or any of the other dishes inspired by New Orleans. The signature cocktails served at each spot help everyone get in the second lining spirit. Like the Big Easy, Charleston is known as a drinking town with a fun loving atmosphere. There are so many creative bartenders in the low country so we will be having a contest to see which one can mix up the most popular New Orleans cocktail. Each event also promotes a local craft brewery that donates kegs of beer and ‘SWAG’ for the raffle. To say thank you and offer a more lasting promotional value to the generous food and beverage donors, their brands will be showcased in a published recipe book. We are collecting the recipes used to create the tastes of New Orleans at each event and plan on selling the recipe book to further support the cause.
We are planning to expand the second line tribute and community impact into new cities.
By popular demand we have decided to consider organizing annual Jazz Crawls in new cities. We are going to use the Kickstarter platform to try and raise enough money to establish the ‘NOLA Kid at Heart Foundation’, but the campaign isn’t just to raise money. We are hoping to reach people with a likeminded passion for the city of New Orleans and a willingness to assume leadership roles for the organization in their hometown. The campaign will launch on May 8th, Aunt Patty’s birthday, and will close on June 28th, Mama T’s birthday.
Bringing The Spirit of New Orleans to a City Near You
Experience the magic of a New Orleans Second Line in the city streets of your hometown.