The birthplace of jazz
New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the world. It has long been a cultural melting pot of cultural from the region’s immigrants, slaves, native tribes, and place of trade along the Mississippi River. It is hard to pinpoint any one tradition to celebrate over another in New Orleans but it’s musical influence has left an indelable mark on global sound.
From Zydeco, the music of the Louisiana Cajuns, to funk music, to blues, to jazz, you will find high energy music everywhere you go in New Orleans. Let’s dive in and explore the best spots for jazz music.
Preservation Hall was first created as a sanctuary in 1961 to protect New Orleans music. Largely unchanged, the hall is open seven nights a week and features some of the country’s best jazz musicians. With multiple shows a night, queue up early to get one of the most unique jazz experiences you will find.
Brass Band on Frenchmen
You will be hard pressed to find another area in any town that pumps the energy of Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. Lined on both sides with jazz venues from the Spotted Cat to d.b.a. to Blue Nile, you can easily barhop all night following the sounds from club to the next. The music is not just confined to indoors, the crowds fill the streets to listen to the brass bands that get the keep the party spread all over the neighborhood.
Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub
Staying on Bourbon Street
While crowded with everything from dance clubs to strip clubs to restaurants, there is still plenty of great music found right on New Orleans’ most famous street. Most celebrated is Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub. Pumping out music since 1969, Fritzel’s is a calming refuge from the festivities just outside.
Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge
A neighborhood most globally recognized through HBO’s series, Tremé, it is considered America’s oldest African American neighborhood and is widely considered the home of New Orleans culture. The neighborhood has long been a racially mixed area where free peope of color resided, of which, the cultural influences melded in the form of music, food, and new traditions.
Tremé continues to celebrate its history with the lesser known (but very influential) clubs continue to thrive such as in Kermit Ruffin’s bar, Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge.
Great music is not confined to any neighborhood in New Orleans. In Carrolton neigbhorhood uptown, is the Maple Leaf Bar, since 1974. Regular performances by celebrated artists such as George Porter Jr., the Rebirth Brass Band, and others play on a weekly basis. It is also the the launchpad for many up-and-coming artists in addition to being known for famous unannounced guests such as Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Rait.
As the birthplace of Cajun and Zydeco music, and hugely instrumental in the development of jazz and Dixieland, New Orleans is a natural home for the music festivals that punctuate the city’s offerings all year-long.
Three days of outdoor concerts in tribute to Louis Armstrong, a New Orleans native.
JazzFest occurs during the last weekend in April and first weekend of May includes concerts featuring traditional jazz and other musical styles.
A free daylong festival in November of African drumming and dance, as well as music from Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South in the square where African slaves would once sing and dance on Sundays.
A weekend-long extravaganza of multiple music stages, local food and crafts in October in City Park
A New Orleans tradition, the parades are the descendants of the city’s famous jazz funerals, where a group of people follow a brass band on the street, dancing and waving handkerchiefs in a circle over their heads. Second lines happen throughout the year and for many occassions usually on Sunday afternoons.
Join us for a New Orleans Jazz Tour!
At KiKO Japan, we seek the deeper experience of travel. Our New Orleans tour celebrates the culture, influence, and region that have made New Orleans the world’s treasure that it is. We will spend our days touring the city and the region learning its history from slavery, plantations, to life on the Bayou, all while taking in the best food, drinks, and music of NOLA.
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