The Ballydehob Jazz Festival features a Jazz funeral which, on two days over the bank holiday weekend, is staged late
afternoon through the streets of the Village. The Jazz Funeral features efforts of local and visiting Artists, Musicians, Dancers and Puppeteers, which with the participation of local school children makes for a wonderful fun event for families and
The Jazz Funeral, mimics and features the music and dancing of traditional jazz funerals, which originally were intended to
both help the deceased find their way to heaven and to celebrate the final release from the bounds of earthly life. The call-and- response style of music and chant, coupled with tambourines, drums, music and dancing were elements of African funeral ceremonies which crossed the seas with captive slaves.
Over time, the jazz funeral tradition grew to become New Orleans’ most honoured of funeral ceremonies, with horse-drawn hearses and parades for fallen police officers, well- known musicians and other pillars of the community.
Fortunately nobody has to die in order for us to witness the bands, music, day of the dead costumes, amazing make up, larger than life puppets, which are all mingled with the Celtic celebration of Bealtaine.