The music scene of New Orleans, or “NOLA” as the locals call it, is world known. There is a reason that their international airport is named after the great jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong! For a music lover, this place delivers the perfect opportunity to listen to the classics or discover new tunes and bands. Here is my personal guide on how and where to experience the magic and diversity of the Southern music scene.
Find yourself a spot in Jackson Park
You can hardly start a sentence with “New Orleans” without adding “jazz” at the end. And the reputation holds true, it is simply impossible to walk the streets without feeling the vibrations of trumpets, tubas and guitars. Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter, hosts many street artists, musicians included among many others. If you wish to get a closer look at the magnificent brass instruments, simply just stop by and listen as they play their hearts out. If you visit during the hot and humid summer, you have the possibility of seeking sha
Enjoy a soundtrack for your sunset
Another opportunity is to take the ferry to Algiers Point where, every Wednesday night in the summertime, you will find free music events. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset behind the steamboats on the Mississippi River. Simply just lean back while the locals set the mood by presenting some of their favorite bands. Most people sit down on the ground; a little tip is to bring a blanket or camping chairs if you wish to sit on the grass in front of the stage.
Party with the moon over Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street has a worldwide reputation for its vivid nightlife, and it is not without reason. Many head straight to the famous street for the drinks and dancing, and Bourbon Street will certainly not let you down in your search for a party. One of the quieter spots is Fritzel’s European Jazz Bar. Here you will be seated in an intimate atmosphere, close to the entertainment. Maybe you can learn a trick or two while the band treats you to some of the classics such as “St. James Infirmary” or “When The Saints Go Marching In”.
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Dance with the locals
Bourbon Street can keep you busy for your whole stay, but there are plenty of other opportunities if you wish to explore the music scene further. Take a trip to Frenchmen Street where the locals go out. Here you will find bar upon bar with live music. Especially The Spotted Cat Music Bar is worth mentioning since it offers swing jazz along with an authentic (and sometimes sweaty) atmosphere. The mood is set for a good time; all they ask is that you steer clear of the piano. The place gets crowded late in the evening, so arrive early. Many of the bars only accept cash, so be prepared. Otherwise ATM’s are not hard to come by in the area.
Visit NOLA while you are in Louisiana!
There are many reasons to visit New Orleans. If you choose to take the trip, you definitely owe it to yourself to check out the unique music scene. Be it street jazz in broad daylight or a steamy live jam after sunset, NOLA is by all means the place to go to pamper your ears with the sweet sounds of the South.
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