New Orleans: Live Music Capital of the World

The power of live music to make people happy is on full display at every single New Orleans night club. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that New Orleans does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the classic venues like Preservation Hall, or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like One Eyed Jacks, which is known for its eclectic music offerings. While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the French Quarter area,  terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout New Orleans neighborhoods. Frenchmen Street in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans is a must see to catch street music and a diverse line up of clubs. On any night of the week, within a two-block stretch, you can second line down the street with a brass band, catch a reggae groove at Cafe Negril and swing dance at the Spotted Cat. Just across the street, get down with rootsy rock and brass (Anders Osborne, Treme Brass Band) at d.b.a. and at the corner, grunge out at Check Point Charlie's, a serious rock and roll dive where - BONUS you can also do your laundry.

Banks Street Bar & Grill

Rub elbows with the natives at this diminuitive joint, where funk, blues and rock bands showcase regional talent every night. For a real good deal, come on Monday for free red beans and rice or hit the complimentary oyster bar at 10pm on...  Read More

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

You have two options at Snug Harbor, the jazz institution on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. Sit at the bar and eat - the steaks and burgers are excellent -and watch and list to whoever is performing upstairs on live TV. Or pay the cover charge...  Read More

Rock 'N' Bowl

Live music and bowling? The combination works perfectly for New Orleans' Mid-City Lanes Rock'n'Bowl, the hippest, most happening bowling alley you'll ever see. Music in the styles of zydeco, R&B, swing, jazz and blues rises over the clamor of...  Read More

French Quarter

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Preservation Hall has been providing some of the best traditional New Orleans jazz since 1961. The smoke-free "Hall" is actually a tiny space with simple bench and floor seating, so if you want to get...  Read More

Joy Theater
Photo courtesy of Maxwell Rasche/This is NOLA.

The Joy is an intimate jewel box venue with great views of the stage anywhere in the house. The restored theater hosts national acts like The Meter Men - featuring George Porter, Jr., with Page McConnell of Phis, comedy, film - an eclectic...  Read More


A hotbed of New Orleans' live music, the original "Tip's" is Uptown, rocking out bebeneath oak trees along the Mississippi River. Tip's helped launch the careers of such artists as the Neville Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John and the...  Read More

The Spotted Cat
Photo courtesy of New Orleans CVB

While local musicians entertain, patrons chill on comfy couches and sip cocktails at this popular Marigny lounge. The relaxed setting appeals to a mature clientele, and music ranges from New Orleans jazz to swing to klezmer and blues. Early...  Read More


High ceilings, rich brown paneling, and a long, sleek bar adorn this attractive space, housed in an old Marigny building. The bar menu is extensive and the assortment of single malt whiskey will delight even the most discriminating connoisseur....  Read More


Pressed tin walls and a narrow dance floor are part of the charm of the Maple Leaf. Live bands play genres like straight ahead jazz, Zydeco, rock, blues and funk showcasing the city's best talent. Unannounced sit-ins are not uncommon; Bruce...  Read More

French Quarter

It's hard to beat the artsy vibe at this indie club. The music offerings are eclectic indeed, with a given week seeing the likes of a glamrock 80s hair band, a nationally touring singer songwriter, burlesque performance art and a film festival....  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

After spending years flying in regularly to research stories,...  More About Beth

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×