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New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans: Jazz

With its rich history and continuing devotion to the uniquely American art form that it helped develop, New Orleans is known the world over as “the birthplace of jazz”. While traditional jazz is still a mainstay on Bourbon Street and promoted by a host of brass bands, the important contribution of prominent performers and educators like the Ellis Marsalis family, Harold Batiste and Dr. Michael White in that most American art form cannot be overstated. (Alan Smason)

New Orleans Jazz: Jazz Around New Orleans

Below are our New Orleans Jazz recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, venue history and other points of interest in New Orleans Art.
 

d.b.a.

d.b.a.

The music in New Orleans, and indeed, the city itself, has always been an eclectic mix of the traditional and the modern, the reverent and the decidedly irreverent. d.b.a. is no different. With an almost chaotic mix of blues, jazz, zydeco and everything in between seven nights a week, d.b.a. draws in some of the biggest crowds away from Bourbon St. The clientele is as varied as the music itself …more…

Donna’s Bar & Grill

Donna’s on Rampart

A local favorite, Donna’s offers great barbecue and New Orleans-style jazz five nights a week, with several house bands covering Thursday-Monday. The cover charge can be a bit steep, but the musicians are local and always great. Don’t expect a fine dining experience, as the place veers towards the dive-y end of things. Do, however, expect authentic NOLA cuisine and exceptional music. (Known for years as Donna’s Bar & Grill, this place reopened ...more...

ESSENCE Music Festival

ESSENCE Music Festival

(July) Essence Music Festival is a massive annual celebration of African American music and culture, held in New Orleans’ world-famous Superdome. The festival has gained serious credibility since its inception in 1995, attracting concert-goers in excess of 75,000. The event hosts top contemporary black entertainers such as Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Kanye West, while celebrating classic jazz/soul crossover artists like Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples and many others.

The …more…

French Quarter Festival

French Quarter Festival

(April) Since its inception in 1984, the annual French Quarter Festival has swollen in size and scope to become the largest free festival in the South. The three-day event now hosts over 500,000 visitors to New Orleans’ most historic area. Just about every musical genre ever vaguely associated with NOLA is represented at the festival and with 20 music stages strategically placed along the festival grounds, one can literally walk …more…

Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub

Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub

This cozy little jazz palace is the oldest continually operating jazz club in New Orleans. Despite its Bourbon location, Fritzel’s has very little in common with its spring-break-destination neighbors. Opened in 1969, Fritzel’s has great New Orleans jazz seven nights a week, with a regularly revolving cast of NOLA’s jazz greats. There is no cover, but there is a drink minimum and the prices can be quite steep. ...more...

Maison Bourbon

Maison Bourbon

A mainstay of Bourbon St., Maison Bourbon is a classic, brick-lined NOLA jazz club with great bands often playing to packed houses. No cover, but there is a drink minimum. If you’re looking to stay on Bourbon but really want an authentic jazz experience, this is the place to find it. ...more...

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage has been one of the premiere events in the U.S. for jazz and popular music over the last 40 years. The idea for the festival arose out of a spontaneous parade with Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington and the Eureka Brass Band. In 1971, the Festival proper was born and has never looked back. Virtually every notable jazz artist (and many a superstar popular act) …more…

Palm Court Jazz Café

Palm Court Jazz Café

Another great traditional jazz venue that also serves excellent food, Palm Court has a little bit more of a dignified, refined atmosphere than some of its competitors. The food is reasonable and the drinks are much less expensive than you would find on Bourbon. Jazz is played nightly Wednesday through Sunday. ...more...

Preservation Hall (The Hall)

Preservation Hall (The Hall)

Those who see a show at Preservation Hall can have vastly different opinions. Some find the “rustic” atmosphere with few amenities discouraging, while others think that the music was divine and the Hall itself a sacred temple at the epicenter of the birth of jazz. But there is no denying that Preservation Hall lives up to its name as an institution dedicated to bringing the sounds of the New Orleans …more…

Satchmo Summerfest

Satchmo Summerfest

(August) Another fantastic New Orleans festival produced by French Quarter Festivals Inc., Satchmo Summerfest is an entire weekend dedicated to showcasing the music and legacy of one of jazz’s founding fathers and a native son of NOLA, Louis Armstrong. Over two days at the beginning of August, thousands pour in to watch local legends play the finest in New Orleans Jazz on two stages out on the Esplanade, surrounded by …more…

Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor is one of the more serious establishments in NOLA, with an exceptional listening room and truly world-class talent seven nights a week (recent performers include Ellis Marsalis and Allen Toussaint). The food is quite reasonable and the cover is generally pretty cheap for the level of talent. Eat, drink and be merry in the restaurant and bar, but don’t expect to carry on conversations in the music room. …more…