New Orleans is a city that can easily tempt all your senses. And as the birthplace of jazz, sound is chief among them. The soulful, sultry and jubilant sounds of jazz have made this city famous. But you can also hear Zydeco, funk, rock and voodoo rhythms the Big Easy—making New Orleans and music tourism a perfect match.
Tune in to the pulse of the city and listen to great music at these popular locations:
Maple Leaf Bar
With live music nightly, Maple Leaf Bar has been dubbed the “Quintessential New Orleans Music Club” with some of the city’s best talent. With tin walls and a hopping dance floor, the venue makes it easy to embrace the hedonistic and eclectic spirit of the city. More than 30 years ago, musicians were attracted to the creative freedom Maple Leaf Bar afforded them. If you fancy yourself a music aficionado, stop in and enjoy the music. You’ll be part of a diverse crowd that includes college students, professionals and tourists. You might even see a celebrity—Bruce Springsteen once did an impromptu jam session with a local band.
The Spotted Cat Music Club
This hip hole in the wall serves up cheap drinks with plenty of atmosphere. Music covers a wide range of genres including traditional jazz and blues to the sounds of funk and Klezmer. It gets crowded so expect the already tight space to fill up quickly. The Spotted Cat Music Club, located on Frenchmen Street, doesn’t charge a cover and you can dance where spots are available.
Founded in 1969, Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub is the oldest jazz club has been one of the top spots to play or listen to jazz music. The casual atmosphere is perfect for those looking to take part in authentic jazz experiences. The soul of the establishment draws hard-core jazz lovers from around the block and across world. The vibe inside is definitely that of being in a most welcoming home away from home.
If you like traditional New Orleans jazz, Preservation Hall is the place to hear it. Widely regarded as a landmark for music and culture, the hall has been promoting, preserving, perpetuating and protecting jazz since 1961. Concerts are performed 7 days per week. If you’re lucky, you can catch the touring Preservation Hall Jazz Band do a live gig. These guys are on tour more than 100 days per year and have played renowned venues like Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Be sure to bring the kids because this is one of the few all-ages establishments in New Orleans.
Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club
This cool jazz club and music hall can be found tucked away from the tourist areas is a great place to find. Creole-style meals and cocktails can be ordered while everything from live music, stand-up comedy and spoken jazz poetry is performed on the venue’s stage. This is a popular hangout with locals, so travelers interested in music tourism will not be disappointed. All the excitement at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club is just a quick cab ride away from the French Quarter.