Check out the best spots to catch some New Orleans live music—don't forget your dancin' shoes.
Rock ‘n’ Bowl
Yes, it’s a bowling alley, but the owner prefers to think of it as a “great live music and catering hall that happens to also have 18 bowling lanes.” More than anything, it’s a conduit for local music and, fittingly enough, a very naturally New Orleans experience.
Tip’s was founded in 1977 as a neighborhood juke joint and has survived the city’s ever-changing musical climate, growing from a small, local bar into an international music icon. The club has welcomed many of the Crescent City’s most beloved artists, making Tip’s a kind of local proving ground for burgeoning musicians.
Since opening in 1961, Preservation Hall has become the sanctuary for New Orleans Jazz music. It hosts nightly shows by veteran and newcomer musicians, including regularly soldout performances by the house’s immensely popular Preservation Hall Brass Band.
The Spotted Cat Music Club
If you’re looking for a real jazz club with a cozy atmosphere and intimate vibe, then The Spotted Cat is going to be your new favorite place. Here you’ll find nothing but local musicians playing their hearts out.
The Blue Nile
This famous live music venue is known as the original music club that helped birth the now unparalleled music culture on Frenchmen Street. It has since been the home of countless top funk, blues, soul and brass shows, featuring local, national and international acts.
One Eyed Jacks
With a plush, burlesque ambiance, One Eyed Jacks regularly hosts both touring and local alternative music acts, comedy shows and even some actual burlesque from time to time, making the venue simultaneously edgy and classy.
The Three Muses
“Music. Food. Spirits. These are the Three Muses.” This club’s motto is exactly the inspiration it provides. Live local music happens daily in this snug bar, served up with tasty house cocktails and small plates.
The Cat’s Meow
Here the formula for phenomenal karaoke is rather simple: Use live-mixing DJs and talented emcees alongside staff who treat everyone like a star. The stage is open to everyone for karaoke; it’s free to sing and there are hundreds of songs to choose from. If you need some liquid courage to jump up onstage, let the three-for-one happy hour work its magic.
The Maple Leaf Bar
The Maple Leaf is one New Orleans’ longest continuously run music clubs. It has live performances seven nights a week, with the famous Rebirth Brass Band every Tuesday night. You can easily catch a great show, knock back a few drinks and take in some local culture—all from the same seat.
Balcony Music Club
With the stage just inches from the sidewalk, the blues, jazz or funk music grooving inside draws in passersby to check out what’s going on at the BMC. There’s often no cover charge, the music is always high quality and the interior courtyard is a tucked-away oasis in the city.
The Maison is a Frenchmen Street staple where the locals still go because it’s where the original New Orleans lingers. Three stages feature a diverse schedule of live music every day of the week, there’s rarely a cover charge and the drinks are fairly priced. It’s nearly impossible to have a bad time here.