The Birthplace of Jazz in Louisiana
No city can lay claim to nurturing as many forms of music as New Orleans. Since its founding it has been a melting pot for diverse rhythms. Today, the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is widely recognised as one of the finest major music events in the world. And throughout the year, new music continues to thrive on the streets.
Visitors will also want to hit such iconic hot spots as Tipitina’s (Uptown) and Preservation Hall, in the French Quarter.
Preservation Hall draws in the crowds for its multiple evening acoustic jazz sets. Originally an art gallery with live jazz, it soon became all about the music! Be prepared to queue, but it's worth the wait. Each 45 minute set of traditional New Orleans jazz in this intimate venue leaves you buzzing. No bar, no restrooms, just pure NOLA jazz!
Traditional jazz and brass is on the menu nightly at the rollicking Donna’s Bar & Grill and Palm Court Jazz Café, and underground local rockers plus national touring acts play nightly at One Eyed Jacks. At the Howlin’ Wolf, you might catch brass bands playing alongside hip-hop artists or emcees who rap in New Orleans’ unique, second line-influenced style. DJ Jubilee, a founder of the style, still gigs at spots around town.
Locals flock to Frenchmen Street (known as an alternative to Bourbon Street), a laid-back, funky strip of clubs and bars that buzzes nightly with music. Snug Harbor, the city’s top spot for major touring jazz, is an anchor on Frenchmen; jazz educator and patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. plays a monthly gig there. And d.b.a. on Frenchmen is a crowd-pleaser with top names like Walter Wolfman Washington and John Boutte. Over on Canal Street, fans regularly pack into Chickie Wah Wah to hear such favorites as John Mooney, Anders Osborne and Johnny Sansone.