TBC's Brandon Franklin: Sunrise August 20, 1987 - Sunset May 9, 2010

* The last time I saw Brandon, dancing with friends at a recent second line parade.

Every evening since the untimely death of TBC Brass Band’s saxophonist Brandon Franklin on Mother’s Day, his friends and family have paid tribute to him in his old neighborhood of the Ninth Ward. Over 40 musicians played together, all of them between high school age and early 30’s, from different bands, different high schools and the musical mastery was absolutely phenomenal. At any given time, various musicians took the lead in directing the band to transition songs or feature a horn player or a line of instruments, accomplished through coded beats and hand gestures all while navigating neighborhood streets, potholes, dancers and traffic and yet the music never once faltered. The songs just kept flowing, flying, diving, building wide and high into overflowing heartfelt testimonies of love for their fallen fellow soldier. The grief at times was visible and palpable amidst the crowd. But the fire of the music, marching and second-lining transformed the collective sadness into release, acceptance and celebration of a life that brought so much joy to the community. These tributes are a testament to the power of New Orleans culture, high school music programs and to a life lived right as several musicians testified to, exemplified in the words of TBC trombonist Edward ‘Juicy’ Jackson: “I’m not worried...cause Brandon was good with God.”

The videos below are from the first two nights of second line parades in his honor. Funeral details are listed below as well.

* Musicians assemble to pay tribute to Brandon (Day Two):

Just A Closer Walk With Thee/I’ll Fly Away:

So hard to say Goodbye To Yesterday

Oh Why? (Original tune by The Hot 8 Brass Band about the murder of band member/trombonist Shotgun Joe by the NOPD)

I’ll Be Missing You

Funeral Services for Brandon Franklin are scheduled for Friday May 21st at

The Church at New Orleans?11700 Chef Mentur Hwy?Viewing: 9 a.m?Service: 11:00 am?Burial: Rest Haven Memorial Park, 10400 Old Gentilly Rd., N.O. LA?Repast: O. Perry Walker College and Career Preparatory High School?and Community Center 2832 General Meyer Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70114

A Facebook tribute page for Brandon has been set up for those who wish to leave their memories and condolences.

*Additional video footage provided by Lisa Palumbo

You can find more second line videos and other local culture stuff on my website www.notesfromneworleans.com.