For nearly 300 years, music has echoed through every corner of New Orleans. The sounds are as constant as the river and diverse as the gumbo of people who settled here. Not only is New Orleans the birthplace of Jazz, but music of all genres flows through the air 24 hours a day. The city's ever-evolving relationship with music and dance began in 18thcentury ballrooms, at the old French Opera House and with tribal rhythms and rituals in Congo Square (now the site of Louis Armstrong Park).
So grab your dancing shoes and get ready because every night in New Orleans is a night for live music!
Start the first day of your musical adventure with a traditional New Orleans breakfast of hot beignets topped with a mountain of powdered sugar and a cup of café au lait. Open 24/7, no matter when you decide to start you can grab a hot bite at Café Du Monde where you can catch local street performers or just enjoy watching the rhythms of the passing crowds, carriages and market vendors.
Take a tour
Take in the sights and sounds of the city, and learn the history of musical greats. The homes and haunts of early masters like Buddy Bolden, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong, Jellyroll Morton and King Oliver resided in the Storyville neighborhood, located in the area now known as Tremé. Take a tour of the neighborhood and learn how jazz flourished in the nightclubs, saloons and streets of the city.
A night at the museum
Part of the Louisiana State Museum Foundation, the Old U.S. Mint preserves part of the city's history and legacy of European, African and Caribbean cultures that formed the city's fabulous musical heritage. Originally a production facility for U.S. currency, the Old Mint now houses extensive jazz memorabilia and archives behind an elegant Greek Revival façade. Learn more about Music at the Mint.
Into the night
Looking for a true New Orleans institution? Look no furtherthan Tipitina's, home to the Neville Brothers and a shrine to Professor Longhair (rub the head of his bust forluck), this musical hotspot has long been an icon of musical greatness in New Orleans.
Established in 1961, Preservation Hall is dedicated to one of America's truest art forms - traditional, New Orleans jazz. Preservation Hall is not only a music venue with nightly, all-ages performances, but also a touring band and non-profit organization. Take in a show here in New Orleans or find the band as they travel the country. Either way, you're sure to enjoy the experience.
If you're ready to head from the bustling streets of the French Quarter to the quieter Uptown and Garden District areas, take a ride on the only moving National Historic Landmark - the St. Charles Avenue streetcar. These classic icons are a staple of life in the Big Easy. Listen to the sounds of rumbling iron wheels as they pass through the Central Business District, around Lee Circle, then up the oak-lined St. Charles Avenue with dozens of grand Greek Revival and Victorian mansions. At the end of your ride, you'll find yourself near the Maple Leaf Bar where the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band plays every Tuesday night.
Rock and roll
For some authentic Cajun Zydeco, bowl a few frames at Mid-City's Rock-N-Bowl. Knock over some pins, snack on some hearty local fare and dance to Zydeco, swing, rhythm and blues.
Blues and brunch
If your journey brings you to NOLA on a Sunday, don't miss the outstanding music and delectable buffet at The House of Blues' Gospel Brunch. The talent, local and imported, changes weekly so make sure to check their calendar for the latest.
Take it home
If you like what you hear around town, swing through the French Market, where you can grab CDs by local artists, an alligator sausage on a stick or some local hot sauce.
The "local's Bourbon Street"
No musical tour of New Orleans is complete without a visit to Frenchmen Street. From Snug Harbor to The Spotted Cat, this funky strip of the Faubourg Marigny is a popular local haunt. Visit the Frenchmen Art Market and take home a piece of local flare. Whether Zydeco, Jazz, Blues or pick-up street bands are your style, Frenchmen Street has plenty to offer.
With live music 24/7 and innovative artists throughout the city, the possibilities are endless. There's always more to do, more to see and more to hear in New Orleans.
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