Whether it’s with large clubs or small parades, New Orleans’ music scene never disappoints its eight million visitors each year. We have compiled a list of the best places to enjoy live music in the music city par excellence.
Located in Mid-City, this music bar is a great place for visitors to relax and hang out with their friends. Chickie Wah Wah is a smoke free club due to the artists’ strict no-smoking policy. The room adapts to bands of different sizes and welcomes different styles. Each artist or band that plays at the club is in charge of setting the entrance fee for their visitors. Here music lovers can dress in any attire; the bar is laid back and allows casual outfits.
Established in 2000 and located in the historic Fauburg Mariginy, d.b.a. was one of the first music venues in New Orleans to become smoke-free. The goal of this venue is to create a healthy environment for guests, staff and musicians. This allows patrons and artists to rejoice and connect through a cultural and entertaining space. d.b.a. features local and regional acts nightly, which means everyone is welcome to join the festivities every day.
This music venue grew out of founder Isaac Tigrett’s love for blues. The goal was to introduce people to the music of the rural south, including genres such as blues, gospel, rhythm and blues and jazz. Offering a mix of Louisiana favorites and mid-sized touring acts, House of Blues (HOB) embodies the Crescent City nightlife. The club offers three performance spaces: the main hall, the Parish and the Voodoo Garden. As well as featuring stellar shows, HOB serves Southern-style entrees: burgers, pork sliders, ribeye steak, and shrimp with grits.
Encompassing traditional New Orleans jazz, Preservation Hall is a cornerstone of music and culture. It was established in 1961 to honor traditional New Orleans jazz. Every night, patrons can witness the wonderful musical evolution of jazz culture. The popular bar hosts a variety of musical performances, including gospel, hip-hop, bluegrass and rock. The best aspect of Preservation Hall is its non-profit affiliation. This is more than a music hall, it is a place for the community; they engage with the local community helping with education and social programs.
Maple Leaf Bar is home to two types of artistic events: musical performances and poetry readings. Sometimes called The Leaf, this bar hasn’t stopped being a place for New Orleans’ up-and-coming bands and for local music students from Tulane University, Loyola University and University of New Orleans. Other than being a popular music bar, The Leaf hosts fashion shows which showcase the latest New Orleans’ fashion.
Located in the heart of New Orleans, Rock ‘n’ Bowl is a unique venue that promotes both live music and bowling. Due to its rustic Southern roots, the famous bar and bowling alley tends to have a full house every night. To make sure they receive a bowling lane and place to dine, patrons must reserve lanes and tables long in advance.
Every night, Siberia hosts punk, hardcore and metal local bands. This music club is perfect for anyone who wishes to break away from the typical Southern-style music scene. Each Monday night, Siberia hosts ‘Comic Strip’ night, which allows blues, garage-rock, indie acts and independent theater performers to host their various shows. On Wednesday nights, visitors can partake in Siberia’s gaming night.
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Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro has been hosting great live jazz performances for over 30 years. Located in the Faubourg Mariginy, the place has been home to most major modern New Orleans jazz musicians. In this space young musicians gain real-world music experience from veteran bandleaders. The Bistro is only able to host 80 people. Their stage is small, but it can hold a grand piano and large bands have played on it. Every night, patrons can witness two shows, at 8pm. or 10pm.
Established in 1977, Tipitina’s has encouraged the development of New Orleans’ best artists for decades. Located near the Mississippi River, the bar is dedicated to piano wizard Professor Longhair, one of the most renowned rhythm and blues musicians in New Orleans’ music history. His visage overlooks the stage and greets guests at the door. Tulane University and Loyola University music students frequent the music club. Tipitina’s also support a variety of community-based projects.
Blue Nile is one of the longest-standing music clubs located in the heart of the historic Frenchmen street. It was originally called Dream Palace and it has been home to funk, blues, soul and brass music concerts. The club offers a full bar and features live local, national and international performances; they have music acts on most nights of the week. Renowned artists like Kermit Ruffins, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Soul Rebels Brass Band have played here. Blue Nile also offers special party rooms for private occasions.