Musicologist Alan Lomax travels to the cradle of jazz in New Orleans to learn about the colorful street parades of the musical idiom. Jelly Roll Morton, who claimed he invented jazz, was at least one of its major proponents. The PBS documentary follows the legacy of Morton from the smoke-filled piano bar of the barrelhouse to Preservation Hall to the neighborhoods of New Orleans, where jazz lives on in the street music and brass bands of the city. In New Orleans, everyone can be part of the second line that forms behind the band in the jazz parades that celebrate everything from the life of the deceased at a jazz funeral to showcasing the feather-and-bead costumes of the Mardi Gras Indians during Carnival season. Archival film footage, photographs, and interviews with members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Danny Barker tell the story of this unique New Orleans tradition.
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