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A Guide to the Best Jazz Clubs in New Orleans

Home City Tours A Guide to the Best Jazz Clubs in New Orleans

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Jazz City

A sound unlike any other, jazz was born in the early 20th century in New Orleans’ Black community. Musicians took African rhythms and combined them with their own improvisations to create a new genre of music that blended all sorts of cultural influences from this unique melting pot city. To this day, New Orleans remains the birthplace of jazz – an American original! While people play jazz all over the world today, the best jazz clubs in New Orleans are the premier places to see it live.

Preservation Hall

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For many visiting music fans, Preservation Hall is the first stop for authentic New Orleans jazz. Established in 1961 on St. Peter Street, this quaint and rustic music venue served as a haven for traditional New Orleans jazz during a period when the genre was waning in popularity. Since then, Preservation Hall has maintained a world-renowned band of traditional jazz masters.

Snug Harbor

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Situated in a restored 1800s storefront located in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood which borders the iconic French Quarter, Snug Harbor boasts three beautiful rooms. This iconic jazz bistro offers delicious meals and drinks at their elegant dining room, and they even offer exciting live music performances at their stylish bar and music room.

At Snug Harbor, the classic exterior belies a luxurious interior. Here, you can experience an abundance of New Orleans jazz styles – both traditional and modern on stage. If you are hoping to see a member of the famous Marsalis family perform at one of the best jazz clubs in New Orleans, Snug Harbor’s calendar is the first place to look.

Fritzel's European Jazz Pub

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Source: Fritzel's European Jazz on Facebook

Check out Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub for a jazzy time on Bourbon Street. Fritzel’s has been open since 1969, making it a local music institution. Shows start as early as 12:30 PM and continue long into the night. Catch a nightly performance by the Fritzel’s All Star Jazz Band and enjoy it with a classic Sazerac!

The Spotted Cat Music Club

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For those seeking a lively night out, look no further than the Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street. Referred affectionately by locals as “The Cat”, this establishment has made a name for itself around the world as an essential destination for those seeking true jazz music.

It’s also not uncommon to find it featured in major films, commercials and print media — all thanks to its unparalleled musicality and charming atmosphere. From jazz to folk and beyond, this premier venue features an extensive lineup of regular performers that proudly celebrate the vibrant music culture of New Orleans – truly making The Spotted Cat one of its most popular destinations!

The Carousel Bar & Lounge

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The ornate Carousel Bar & Lounge is found in the lobby level of the Hotel Monteleone, an esteemed New Orleans hotel that has been family-owned and operated since 1886. The Carousel presents live music every Wednesday-Saturday. Experience the best of New Orleans jazz under bright lights that conjure the spirit of the Roaring 20s, when the music was in its youth. Given the name, you might be wondering if this bar actually rotates – the answer is yes! 

Learn More with a New Orleans City Tour

Live jazz in New Orleans is now concentrated in the French Quarter and the Marigny, but the music was born in New Orleans’ residential neighborhoods. Learn more about these historic places and the communities that have called them home with a New Orleans city bus tour.

These tours introduce you to the Crescent City’s most important neighborhoods, landmarks, parks, avenues and more. Unlock the secrets of the Big Easy with Cajun Encounters‘ fully air-conditioned city bus tours, as well as some hidden gems that only a local could know about. Reserve your New Orleans city tour today for an unforgettable glimpse into the unique culture of NOLA! 

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