The Mississippi Swamp Dogs Jazz Band

jazz band hire with a New Orleans twist.

New Orleans Jazz Funeral

Do you need a “virtual version” of a New Orleans Funeral Jazz Band to comply with Covid 19 rules. Find out information by clicking here. We can help.

If your loved one has requested a New Orleans Jazz Funeral with a New Orleans Jazz Band we can assist. Our New Orleans Funeral Band plays all around the country. We receive many letters of gratitude expressing how much comfort was gained from the experience of having a Jazz band playing.

Wanting New Orleans Jazz for a funeral tends to be inspired from watching the James Bond film, Live and Let Die. People have recalled this and have requested it for their own final journey.

“Jeff, we all really enjoyed the wonderful send off you gave my brother Brian yesterday. Please pass on my gratitude to the rest of the guys”

New Orleans Jazz Funeral

The band usually starts with sombre hymns to mourn the passing of the individual. This is to mourn the passing of the deceased. After the interment or after the service in the chapel, the band will strike up with happy songs like “When the Saints Go Marching In” to celebrate a life well lived.

New Orleans Jazz Funeral The Tradition

In New Orleans the Funeral Jazz Band has long been part of the traditional New Orleans Funeral. Many will know that New Orleans is the birth place of Jazz probably about a hundred years ago.

Jazz Bands accompanied the funeral cortege to the cemetery playing slow spirituals and hymns such as “What a friend we have in Jesus” “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “The Old Rugged Cross”

At the cemetery when the body had been interned, the Jazz Band struck up with some spirited New Orleans Jazz to celebrate and tribute the life of the recently deceased. “When the Saints Come Marching In” “Flee Like A Bird” and “Didn’t He Ramble” being a few favourites.

This tradition is still common to this day at New Orleans Funerals. New Orleans Jazz bands still get employed in the same way to be part of the funeral. In New Orleans, after the memorial service, the coffin is brought out and is shaken in a rigorously, accompanying the celebratory music, to give the deceased “one last dance”.

The Dirge

At this point family and friends are mourning the passing and loss of their loved one. The band are playing sad music to reflect this. This music is often played from the gates of the crematorium up to the chapel, or at the home of the deceased when the hearse arrives. Here are two numbers we often get requested for this portion of the ceremony. “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” and “Careless Love”

Celebration Music

After the service in the chapel it is time to celebrate the life of the deceased and to be thankful for having known and loved the individual. The music is now much more upbeat and the three following numbers reflect this change in mood. “When The Saints Come Marching In” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “When Your Smiling”

Meanwhile in England

Moving five or six thousand miles or so, what do we find? As specialists in live music, particularly jazz bands, we often receive requests to hire out a New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band for funerals close to home.

In my opinion the single biggest factor has been the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” In this film is a New Orleans Funeral scene which this has stuck in the mind of everyone who has watched it. It is almost always referred to when a recently deceased’s relative contacts us to arrange for a New Orleans Jazz Band to play at the funeral.

New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band

Previous clients have found the addition of the band a great comfort and a way of lightening what can be a very moving and emotional time with The New Orleans Band. It also seems to reflect in a positive manner the personality of the person who has passed away. We are constantly struck by how clients and friends of the deceased are grateful for an opportunity to smile and feel uplifted at a time of great sadness.

New Orleans Jazz Funeral

New Orleans Jazz Funeral

Is it just for people of a religious persuasion?

A New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band is suitable for religious ceremonies or for people who have no religion at all. Hymns can be played for religious clients and suitable tunes can be played for non religious clients. All are treated with equal dignity and respect.


What advice can we give to people wanting to hire a New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band for a loved ones send off?

1. How many musicians do you require? We normally suggest four to six depending on your budget.

2. What should the band wear? Black tie and black suits are usually appropriate, or tuxedos and bow ties.

3. How much music should we have? I suggest that the band play the funeral hearse up to the chapel. The music is slow New Orleans Jazz to mourn the loss of the individual. There is then usually a small service of remembrance. The jazz band normally retires for this portion of the proceedings, but can play in the chapel if required.

Once the funeral party come out, either to bury the deceased or to look at floral tributes, the New Orleans Jazz Band will strike up playing celebratory music. This normally goes on for between fifteen and twenty minutes.

4. Is that it? Not always. We can start outside the family house and take the funeral cortege down to the cemetery if it is local. We often get asked to go back to a relative’s house after the funeral to play for the wake.

5. How do you charge? By the musician, the distance travelled and how much music is required. Phone up, we can have a discussion and will come up with a fee based on your location and requirements.

We have Jazz Band Hire for London and all of the Southeast.