Music is such a large part of New Orleans’ rich history. If you want a proper boogie, and to listen to some of the best musicians in the world casually playing live for your pleasure, then you should definitely add the following New Orleans venues to your travel itinerary.
Of all the music venues on this list, Preservation Hall is probably the most essential - it’s certainly the most historic. This French Quarter music hall features classic Dixieland played by some of the best musicians in town. Its mission is to protect, preserve, and perpetuate Traditional New Orleans Jazz, so by paying it a visit, you’ll be helping the music that you’re listening to.
The Spotted Cat
Pretty much constantly packed, this popular bar brings local regulars and out-of-town visitors together, often for a unexpected swing dance. A Frenchman Street fave, it might be small, but this perfectly formed venue positively vibrates with an atmosphere of fun.
With significantly better acoustics than the barrel from which it takes its title, the Apple Barrel is one of the best venues in New Orleans to hear live jazz and blues every night of the week. Like The Spotted Cat, it’s located on Frenchmen Street (there’s a lot of live venues on Frenchman Street, it’s a bit of a one-stop shop for an amazing night of music), with a similarly enthusiastic crowd.
The Jazz Playhouse
When you want to know about music, it’s probably best to ask a musician. Playhouse’s owner is Grammy and Billboard Award-winning Irvin Mayfield, so you can probably trust his taste when it comes to selecting live acts.
The Maple Leaf
Established in 1974, The Maple Leaf is one of the longest continually running clubs in New Orleans offering live performances seven days a week. The uptown bar is a popular destination for young people, especially local university students - partly because of its mix of live jazz, rock and blues, partly because of the venue’s near-constant party atmosphere.
Jazz isn’t the only live music New Orleans has on offer - Siberia hosts artists ranging from homegrown metal groups to underground rappers and undiscovered punk bands. With a booming sound system that goes up to 11, fun light shows, a passionate crowd, and flowing drinks, if you want to try something a little different next time you visit New Orleans, head to Siberia, where they keep things very cool.
Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
If you’d like to eat while you listen, head for Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchman Street, which features live jazz & delicious Creole food in an cosy, brick-walled space that dates back to the 1800s.
I’m shrinking into myself, I’m at once a sunset and a small planet. I grow thorns like a rose but I don’t bleed like one. // these nights are becoming a series of television marathons and tasteless ice cream, I’m losing the thrill of what it means to be human. // I drew us a new reality, strung together with paper stars, cardboard cityscapes and glued up trees. I want to dissolve into it. // sometimes I look at strangers and I ache to get to know them, sometimes I look at friends and I wish to unknow them // if everything happens for a reason the only reason I see here is purgatory // I’m made of clay I crumble, my limbs are soft and malleable // talk to me about the Trojan war and astrology and undiscovered bands, adventure with me in my backyard; draw me a treasure map to your world, ice skating around Central Park in the cool winter air, burning brownies in your kitchen // something ordinary that still makes us feel like we could fly if we wanted // finding ourselves in movie screens and cups of tea and the moon’s light shows, we can be pirates, sailing fictional seas, drowning ourselves in suburban delights. I’m your starlet. You are my American dream.
—— Alright, so usually he won’t be caught dead in a Rock Bar, but it was for a good cause! The company wanted undiscovered Rock Bands to do the music in this new Horror game and they voted for him to go. Ryou sighed as he sat at a table with a notepad and pencil out, listening to each band carefully. It needed a certain sound… now just figuring out what that was.