Live music is not just in the air in New Orleans. It is the air and life force that oxygenates the culture and traditions in the city where jazz was born. Here, you can hear live music every day and night, from street buskers on Royal Street, lively Frenchmen Street in the Marigny or uptown, where a legacy of juke joints brings stellar musicians to the stage.
It’s possible on any night of the week along Frenchmen Street to second line with a brass band, catch a reggae groove at Cafe Negril and swing dance at the Spotted Cat. Across the street, it’s rootsy rock and brass at d.b.a. At Snug Harbor, old school jazz rules, with patriarch Ellis Marsalis in residence most Friday nights. Chickie Wah Wah on Canal draws a slightly older crowd to an intimate setting especially kind to acoustic twangs. If you’re lucky Jon Cleary will be at the piano. Uptown, Tipitina’s (Tip’s in local speak) is legendary; a New Orleans institution since 1977, it is a must experience for any music lover. On your way out, give the bust of New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair a rub for luck.
Café Negril, 606 Frenchmen St., 504.383.5131, cafenegrilonfrenchmen.com
Spotted Cat Music Club, 623 Frenchmen St., 504.943.3887, spottedcatmusicclub.com
d.b.a., 618 Frenchmen St., 504.942.3731, dbaneworleans.com
Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, 626 Frenchmen St., 504.949.0696, snugjazz.com
Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal St., 504.304.4714, chickiewahwah.com
Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave., 504.985.8477, tipitinas.com