Dec. 14, 2017 By Tara Law
A New Orleans-style jazz parade will swing through Kew Gardens on Dec. 21.
The Queens Second Line Swing parade will depart at 12:30 p.m. at Maple Grove Park at Hoover Avenue between Queens Boulevard and 132 Street.
Second line is an iconic New Orleans tradition in which participants walk and dance along with a brass band. Second lines are often held on celebratory occasions, such as weddings.
The event is part of daylong musical celebration, Make Music New York, which will consist of twelve parades across the city. Make Music New York holds the parades twice a year, on June 21 and Dec. 21.
Roz Nixon, the Queens Second Line Swing parade event organizer and a playwright, lives in Harlem but was born in Jamaica, Queens, and raised in Cambria Heights. She said that she is excited to share “mardi gras style” New Orleans jazz with the community.
Everything is a celebration. It’s just so inviting,” she said of the style. “My vision is to bring some holiday cheer to that neighborhood.”
Seven musicians—including vocalists and brass instrumentalists– will lead a “call and response,” encouraging the crowd to repeat back the music whether it’s a line of a song or a riff on a trumpet.
The performance will be rooted in jazz history.
The event will incorporate elements of a play created by Nixon, “S.S. Nirvana,” which portrays jazz legends.
The musicians will perform scenes and songs from the play including jazz vocalists Claudette Morgan and TC the Third as Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Hartman.
Nixon hopes the event generates will generate a large audience, noting that it will go past the court house while employees have lunch.
“So many mean-spirited things are going on in the news, this will be a respite,” said Nixon. “Music brings people together.”