Explore the NMFH: Jazz Funerals of New Orleans

Jazz Funerals of New Orleans is a spirted exhibit located in the center of the museum's main hall. | Photo courtesy of National Museum of Funeral History

Explore the storied, musical traditions of one of New Orleans’ most unique cultural practices at the popular Jazz Funerals of New Orleans Exhibit at the National Museum of Funeral History (NMFH).—part of our Explore the NMFH series.

Debuting at NMFH in fall of 2020, Jazz Funerals of New Orleans traces the historic Crescent City tradition from its origins in the late 1800s through today. Originating with a common way to bid farewell to a loved one with music, the festive and boisterous jazz funerals have become a tradition unique to New Orleans, especially among the city’s Black community.

The exhibit also explores other 20th century influences, including the Mardi Gas Indians—Black carnival performers who dress in suits influenced by Native Americans—along with American Protestant churches, the emergence of New Orleans jazz, and the evolution of the participatory second line in jazz funerals.

Explore and learn more about Jazz Funerals of New Orleans, plan your in-person visit, or take a virtual tour.

More About the National Museum of Funeral History

Founded in 1992 and boasting America’s largest collection of authentic historical funeral service items in 17 permanent exhibits, the National Museum of Funeral History (NMFH) is an exploration of history, science, and culture.

Visitors can learn about hearses through history, caskets and coffins, plus the funerals of U.S. Presidents and Catholic Popes, celebrities and the history of embalming and cremation while you witness the cultural heritage of the funeral service industry and its time-honored tradition of compassion.

Open seven days a week, excluding major holidays, the museum is a testament to the cultural heritage of the funeral service industry and its time-honored tradition of compassion.

Explore and learn more about the National Museum of Funeral History, plan your in-person visit, or take a virtual tour.

Jazz Funerals of New Orleans at National Museum of Funeral History

Learn about the National Museum of Funeral History in our eight-part series highlighting some of visitors’ favorite exhibits in the museum’s permanent collection.

Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Funeral History

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