Saturday at noon, the Prospect.1 biennial officially opens at all locations after a ribbon-cutting ceremony and second line with the Rebirth Brass Band, starting from the Louisiana State Museum U.S. Mint building at 400 Esplanade Ave. Following that, Prospect.1 artist Navin Rawanchaikul, in collaboration with Preservation Hall, will present a jazz funeral for former Preservation Hall Jazz Band banjo player Narvin Kimball.
Rawanchaikul is a Thai artist known for multimedia collaborative projects that make use of nontraditional public space and often address issues of globalization. Earlier this year, he put together a project - using billboards, music video, mock political posters and sculpture - that focused on uniting people who shared his first name (Kimball is only one letter off, though the jazz funeral does not seem to be an official part of that project.)
Kimball, who died at age 97 in March of 2006, was the last surviving member of the original Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Current PHJB member Carl LeBlanc now often plays Kimball's instrument with the band. At the time of his death, a jazz funeral was apparently never held for Kimball, who passed away in Charleston, South Carolina, where he went after Hurricane Katrina.
The Prospect.1 jazz funeral begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the steps of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation's Southall Mortuary at 1225 N. Rampart St., and will follow a route along Armstrong Park, ending at Preservation Hall. Current and former members of the PHJB will play.