What are the best places to hear live music in New Orleans?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Karen Dalton Beninato

Snug Harbor, on Frenchmen Street's thriving music row, consistently books the best jazz and blues bands from within and outside of New Orleans. The audience is attentive, which is sometimes hard to find in a party city. Bands are paid more than just tips so you can count on seeing a professional ensemble who's happy to be performing.

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse is one of the only Bourbon Street-adjacent clubs to still offer original local music from jazz to brass bands. Leroy Jones, the best trumpet player in New Orleans, holds court as does piano virtuoso Tom Worrell.

If you're in the mood for a headliner, check out the House of Blues. Yes it's a chain, but New Orleans was one of its first branches and it's still booked by local talent buyer Sonny Schneidau who is consistently lauded as Talent Buyer of the Year in local publications. Check out the club's opulent Foundation Room post-show, where the artists often unwind. Membership is transferrable between cities.

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