In most of the places I’ve lived, death has always been a pretty somber affair. The requisite black attire, the hushed whispers, casseroles, lots of casseroles. Alas, things are quite different in New Orleans – here, we 2nd line…
I didn’t know the deceased, Jimmy Glickman, but my good friend, musician Kate Burgun, had known him for years. Legendary music venue Tipitina’s held a “Celebration of Life” event where I learned he was a legend in the NOLA music scene. He held court at his award-winning store, New Orleans Music Exchange (14 Best of the Beat Awards + 4 for Best Pro Audio Store), located at the corner of Louisiana and Magazine Streets. He was also a frequent contributor to the Tipitina’s Foundation’s annual Instruments A Comin’ benefit event, which held the musical tribute yesterday in his honor.
The afternoon was packed with various musicians performing tribute songs for Jimmy. Musician Marc Stone shared a lovely story “After Katrina, my house was under water and even though he already had 10 people staying with him who were also displaced, Jimmy opened his home to me while I tried to rescue what I could. He was just that kinda guy.”
Jimmy was also very supportive of many local musician-oriented non-profits, such as the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. He also contributed musical instruments to the Landry Walker Marching Band who played during yesterday’s event:
Now, back to that second line. Having been to New Orleans for several weddings, I was familiar with second line tradition. It’s basically a parade with a brass band leading the way and revelers walking behind dancing and twirling umbrellas or handkerchiefs (although not necessary). To give you a feel for what it’s like in the middle of the parade:
Another view of the second line and revelers:
Meanwhile, our fearless second line leader – The Dancing Man – who certainly had the moves down!
Kate and I spoke about what a legacy this man left behind – how hundreds came out to celebrate his too-short life (he died at just 52) and how hundreds (if not thousands) more would be forever touched by his financial generosity as well as generosity of spirit. One can only hope to have such a fitting tribute when our time comes.
So, good-bye to Jimmy Glickman, a man who touched so many, yet not enough.