Jazz is the beating heart of New Orleans, as important to this city's soul as a rich pot of gumbo, a second line parade and the charming architecture that defines neighborhoods like the French Quarter and the Marigny. To listen to local musicians play authentic New Orleans jazz, you need to dive into neighborhoods beyond the Bourbon Street scene, although there are still a few must-visit clubs in the French Quarter. One of the best places to start is the Marigny, just up from where the Mississippi bends into its famous crescent, an original Creole neighborhood named for 19th century aristocrat and good-time-guy Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville. In the past decade or so, the Marigny has emerged as a mecca of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, most of which are frequented by a mix of both locals and tourists. Here is arguably the best place in town to hear all kinds of live music, including straight ahead jazz. On any given evening, you can swing dance at Spotted Cat, hear brass at d.b.a. and most Fridays Ellis Marsalis’ straight ahead jazz at Snug Harbor. There are clubs in the Treme, uptown on Oak Street, along St. Claude Avenue. All for your listening pleasure.
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