You’re headed to New Orleans, and justifiably excited about the possibility of jazz, blues and whatever great music you can find. But where do you start? There are daily jazz tours and walking tours you can take when you arrive. But you don’t have to wait to begin your musical journey. Keep reading to learn where the area’s best jazz is performed, who is performing and when the best times to look for them.
Where To Find Jazz and Blues
If you like to put your stock in a reliable name when it comes to music, head to Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. This fine establishment doesn’t charge a cover—even though you’ll stumble across tasty performers like Leon “Kid Chocolate Brown,” and Ed “Sweetbread” Peterson.
Or Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club. This 30-year old establishment has consistently won awards for Best Jazz Club and hosted Gato Barbieri, Pharoah Sanders, and Pieces of a Dream.
Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub, the “oldest operating jazz club in New Orleans,” first opened its doors in 1969 and has been going strong since, drawing jazz fans from around the globe to its cheery interior and authentic American jazz experience.
Peek inside the cozy windows of Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro and you’ll automatically want to join the scene inside. If you like live jazz, it can be enjoyed seven nights a week.
If you’re the type who likes to explore off the beaten path, make a note to visit Vaughan’s Lounge. Vaughn’s is so off-the-grid you’ll need a cab to get there. However, if you like live blues, cheap beer and hanging with the locals, you’ll fit right in. New Orleans icon Kermit Ruffins has given Vaughan’s a legendary reputation and packed this hole-in -the-wall blues bar with friendly people.
For a relatively young man, Jeremy Davenport has become entrenched as a vital figure of the New Orleans music scene. He is known for his original lyrics as well as his incredible vocal and trumpet skills. You can see him at The Davenport Lounge in the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans.
No matter which venues you check out, you’re sure to make some friends as you work your way through the happy cavalcade of New Orleans bands and the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Pack your party clothes: you’re going to need them in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz!