Home > Solo instrument + piano > The Saint’s Visit Havana with a Touch of W.A.Mozart for Guitar & Piano

An arrangement of ’The Saints’ for Guitar & Piano, with a touch of the exotic Latin Rumba and a hint of Mozart!

A traditional use of the song is as a funeral march. In the funeral music tradition of New Orleans, Louisiana, often called the "jazz funeral", while accompanying the coffin to the cemetery, a band would play the tune as a dirge. On the way back from the interment, it would switch to the familiar upbeat "hot" or "Dixieland" style. While the tune is still heard as a slow spiritual number on rare occasions, from the mid 20th century it has been more commonly performed as a "hot" number. The number remains particularly associated with the city of New Orleans, to the extent that it is associated with New Orleans’ professional football team, the New Orleans Saints. Both vocal and instrumental renditions of the song abound. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known pop-tune in the 1930s. Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious. Armstrong was in a New Orleans tradition of turning church numbers into brass band and dance numbers that went back at least to Buddy Bolden’s band at the very start of the 20th century.

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