African jazz musician playing the saxophone | Live Music Venues in New Orleans

Where Can You Find Authentic Live Music Venues in New Orleans?

New Orleans is Jazz City—it’s where the genre was invented. As you set out to explore our magnificent city, make sure you set some time aside to listen to live music. Now you’re going to ask us: where should you go? Well, we can’t possibly give out all of our secrets, but just as a favor, we’ll reveal a handful of live music venues in New Orleans you need to check out. Read on, take notes, and ask us for more when you stay with us. 

Sometimes, you just need to walk around the city to hear New Orleans’s true music.

Start With These Live Music Venues in New Orleans

Preservation Hall

If you want to get a taste of some real good music in New Orleans, start with Preservation Hall. This venue opened in the French Quarter in 1961 and takes you back in time the moment you step through the door. The atmosphere is fantastic and the music terrific—after all, these guys have been playing for their whole lives and know what they’re doing.

Fritzel’s on Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is the melting pot of New Orleans’s live music. You can find everything you’re looking for there, and it has something for everybody. We recommend heading over to the quiet side of Bourbon Street to Fritzel’s. This intimate pub is the oldest jazz club in New Orleans and features European and Dixieland tunes. It’s very old–fashioned, very authentic. 

Palm Court Jazz Cafe

If you’re looking for dinner and a show, we recommend Palm Court Jazz Cafe. It’s a splendid little place, hidden out in the open spot. It’s been open in the city for forever. You have to call to make a reservation, then leave a message on the answering machine. Don’t wait for a confirmation call back—they won’t give you one. The food there is good and the music stays faithful to the New Orleans classics. 

Snug Harbor on Frenchman Street

Frenchman Street is very different from Bourbon Street or the French Quarter in terms of music. It’s all about jazz all the time there. Most places don’t charge a cover, so you can pop in and out at your leisure. Now, one place that will charge is called Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro—and it’s worth every penny. Famous jazz musicians play there regularly. If you’re traveling with a music buff, this is the place to take them. 

[Editor’s Note:  Today’s blog post was submitted by mysterious woman in a black dress who was also wearing a wide-brimmed floppy hat and a veil.  She wore a corsage of red, red roses.  I heard something on the front porch while I was at my desk in the lobby.  When I went out, this lady in black was walking away.  “Hey, Lady!  Can I help you?” I asked.  “Check your mailbox,” she answered.  In the mailbox was an envelope containing this very same blog post with a note.  

The note said: ” Dear Mr. King, I have read your blog for years.  I would be very honored if you would publish the enclosed in The Best Written Blog in New Orleans.  It is a humble attempt to add a little bit to New Orleans culture.  I used to live in this house, years ago, when it was still a two family home.  I made a lifetime’s worth of good memories here.  Thank you for preserving this landmark mansion on our beautiful street.”

So, here it is.]

Good memories are made in New Orleans.  The best memories are made at La Belle Esplanade.

Dance to the Rhythm of New Orleans at La Belle Esplanade

There are so many places where you can enjoy live music in New Orleans.  Follow your ears.  There is music in the clubs, in restaurants, on the streets, in parades.  Parades go past our small hotel most weekends.  You’ll know.  You’ll hear that brass band jazz.  Or, you won’t know because you will be out and about in the city making good New Orleans memories that will last you the rest of your life.

Outside of La Belle Esplanade colorful houses

When you stay with us, we make sure we send you to the spots that best fit your interests, so that you will experience authentic New Orleans for yourself. La Belle Esplanade is all about providing you with the best stay possible– be it through personalized recommendations or with comfortable and unique suites. Browse our selection today and see which one fits your personality the most. Spoiler alert: you can’t go wrong with any of them.