Utah Arts Festival: A taste of New Orleans
Published: June 21, 2012 10:30PM
Updated: June 21, 2012 11:19PM
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The Stooges Brass Band performs on the street, between Washington Square and Library Square, as part of a "second line" parade through the Utah Arts Festival grounds Thursday. (photo by Sean P. Means | The Salt Lake Tribune)

The last time Salt Lake City got this big a piece of New Orleans, we ended up with an NBA franchise.

The Stooges Brass Band, a five-piece horn-and-drum marching band, led a traditional "second line" parade past the City-County Building and down 200 East on Thursday night. It was part of the festivities of the Utah Arts Festival.

A "second line" march is a tradition for New Orleans jazz funerals. The first half of the funeral march is slow, mourning the dead. The second half of the march is celebratory -- after all, the deceased is going to heaven -- and the music more upbeat, drawing not just the mourners but anybody within earshot who wants to dance.

The Stooges marched and played around Washington Square, stopping a few times along the way. Each time the band stopped, a large circle of festivalgoers gathered to listen, clap and even dance.

Only a couple of dozen people followed the band from site to site, in the New Orleans tradition, as they got to the Festival Stage. There, Mike Farris and the Roseland Revue started a gospel-infused set -- and kept the Stooges onstage as their horn section.

The Stooges will lead two more parades on Friday, at 5 and 8 p.m. -- the last, ahead of their own concert at 8:30 p.m. on the Amphitheatre Stage.