When visiting a world-renowned music and dance destination like New Orleans Louisiana, widdling down a “must-do” list can prove to be somewhat of an impossible task. However, we’ve tried to get you the barest of bones, these are the basic of basic, items of things to check off your list when in New Orleans LA. And, in case the infographic doesn’t load, we’ve written out what those 5 things are right here.
1.) Attend Jazz Fest: Attend every day of (and eat at least 1 item from every food vendor at) The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest). Anyone can hit a single day or even a weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival but it takes real strength of character, a fair bit of money, and plenty of sunscreen to attend all 7 days and sample at least 1 item from all 74 food vendors on the fairgrounds.
2.) Club Hop The Marigny: Because many of the music venues in the famous Marigny Triangle don’t have a cover charge, club hopping along Frenchmen’s 600 block is not by any means “undoable”. Visit D.B.A. (offering more than 160 beers and featuring local acts that are a part of NOLA’s famous musical family), the Spotted Cat Music Club (a tiny club that delivers local music from brassy jazz combos to acoustic strummers), the classic Snug Harbor (where on Friday nights Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the Marsalis clan, holds court upstairs), The Penthouse for the Buena Vista Social at The Maison (offering a high-energy mix of salsa, bachata, and reggaeton), & Mojitos (hosting a great lineup of live music and dance).
3.) Request a Tune for the Dueling Piano’s: You won’t want to miss checking out Pat O’Brien’s. Although now a franchised business and found in many states, the original in New Orleans is and was made famous for it’s Old French Quarter architecture, dueling pianos, & it’s contributions to what is now commonly known as a hurricane drink. This is authentic as it gets and more fun than most can handle.
4.) Parade in a Second Line: One of the best things about New Orleans is that sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, a second line parade just starts rolling down the street. When that happens, you drop everything and roll with them. The “first line” makes up the members of the actual club and the brass band. Those who follow the club and band just to enjoy the music are called the “second line.” Dozens of different second line parades are put on throughout the year and range in size, the level of organization and traditions. But in all cases, they will include a brass band, jubilant dancing in the street and members decked out in a wardrobe of bright colors with the spontaneous energy of a block party. The parades are not tied to any particular event, holiday or commemoration; rather, they are generally held for their own sake (or in the wake of a funeral in historic fashion) and to let the good times roll.
5.) Hear the Church choir at St. Louis Cathedral: Religious music is far from boring in New Orleans and few cities in the world are as instantly recognizable by their buildings as is New Orleans by the St. Louis Cathedral and its position overlooking Jackson Square. Take in the St. Louis Cathedral Church Choir alongside the amazing Jazz Fest Shabbat at Touro Synagogue, the Trinity Church Organ Series, and the Soulful Voices Choir at St. Augustine Church to get a musical experience unlike any other.