New Orleans is where the love of music transcends age, gender, religion, and race.
If you've ever booked a trip through the charming city of New Orleans, you've heard the music that fills the streets. This historic city is known for its unique heritage and proud traditions. From vibrant nightlife, year-round festivals, creole, and Cajun food to colonial architecture, this cultural melting pot is unified by music.
The storied history here has defined the New Orleans soundtrack. Brass bands fill the humid air, kids turn buckets into drums, and singers serenade the streets everywhere you go. Whether you are a music lover or are interested in learning about Nola culture, your trip through this city isn't complete without time spent enjoying local melodies.
Why the music matters
Through good times and bad, music has been a constant for local New Orleanians. From the Mardi Gras Indians to the French settlers and enslaved Africans to the waves of immigrants, the soundtrack reflects the hope and despair of New Orleans through generations.
Gospel music fills the air, marching bands continue to wear down the streets, and Mardi Gras Indians celebrate community with call-and-response music. New Orleans is a place where culture and life harmonize. Through every challenge and every victory, New Orleanian musicians carry the melody.
The Tunes of NOLA
This cultural melting pot is responsible for nurturing a variety of musical styles. While they are Known as the birthplace of Jazz, live music fills venues every day of the week with various genres. According to Spotify, local musicians and listeners have a soft spot for Jazz, Bounce, Hip-Hop, Indie, Brass, and Zydeco music.
Long known as the jazz music mecca, New Orleans is no stranger to the rhythm of local jazz pioneers. Some of the city's most cherished musicians include Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, and Sidney Bechet. Visitors can find live performances across the city's iconic venues.
While known for Jazz and Funk, New Orleans' bustling blues scene is not to be missed. Musical giants, including Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Irma Thomas, and Professor Longhair, have significantly contributed to New Orleans blues.
New Orleans is known for their brass bands. Weddings, funerals, and New Orleans life are defined by the full sounds created by these walking talents. This kind of music is passed through generations. It creates a culture that uplifts and celebrates life. Brass musicians from Trombone Shorty to the Original Pinettes and others fill the city's festivities with bright brassy tones.
This music was made to get you on your feet. Whether you are a music lover or a fan of nightlife, this Southwest Louisiana staple with find its way to your heart. Watch locals dance to this quick rhythm and join the shuffle yourselves. Memories of dancing with all the generations of this music-driven city will be your favorite souvenir.
Where to Listen
If you're ready to learn all about New Orleans, you'll have to listen closely. From live music throughout the city to the notorious Jazz & Heritage Festival, Music is the highlight of any trip to New Orleans. Don't miss the nightly jams at the Rock'n'Bowl or the seven-day jam session at the annual Jazz & Heritage Foundation Festival.
With so much to listen to and so much to see, you'll have to stay a while. Taste the Creole & Cajun food, savor the sounds of the french quarter, drink on Bourbon Street, and roam the galleries along Magazine Street. New Orleans is a multifaceted city with a unique blend of cultures.
Where to Stay
A Local Touch: The Chimes Bed & Breakfast
This historic building is in the heart of the garden district, a neighborhood known for its romantic air and historical roots. Choose among five enchanting guest rooms, each with a private entrance in an open courtyard and a patio garden with outdoor seating. The serenity, privacy, and safety make this attractive boutique hotel one of the best places to stay in New Orleans.
Nightlife in the French Quarter: W New Orleans
If you're looking to celebrate the NOLA way, you may want to consider a stay in the French Quarter. This part of the city is home to the notorious Bourbon Street and a non-stop party. The W New Orleans - French Quarter features artistic and innovative design paired perfectly with the surrounding history. Book a balcony room or indulge in the carriage house suite with a private cobblestone courtyard. Lounge in the European-style courtyard or relax poolside.
19th Century Cottages: Audubon Cottages
This place is a quiet haven that feels a world away from the non-stop party on Bourbon Street, yet located right in the French Quarter. The 19th-century provenance of the hotel carries through to the style of the cottage interiors — dark hardwood floors, varnished antiques, original art, and exposed brick. The cottages’ butlers not only bring breakfast to the room, tidy up, and all the rest; he’s also an expert on the French Quarter, organizing private excursions to suit guests’ tastes.
Traditional Luxury: The Ritz Carlton New Orleans
The elegance of New Orleans, from its breathtaking architecture to its vibrant music scene, lives on at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Set on the edge of the French Quarter and within a historic beaux arts building, this four-star hotel is a retreat amid the city's energy. While most iconic attractions are a short walk away, the hotel offers tranquility with a luxury spa and a lush courtyard reflecting the beauty of the nearby Garden District.
Sail The Mississippi: A Viking River Cruise
Stretching for 2,350 miles down the United States, Mississippi cruises offer a different cross-country journey for the curious explorer—one that allows you to be immersed in American history and culture.
Step on board the newest and most modern ship on the Mississippi with all outside staterooms, private verandas, spacious public areas, and signature, clean Scandinavian design reimagined for the Mississippi River.
Travel Tip: Spend an afternoon at the Gumbo Shop
We'd be remiss not to mention the incredible food that awaits throughout this city. With Gumbo, Jambalaya, and po-boys to taste, you'll want to save plenty of time for trying creole and cajun cuisine. There are plenty of places to discover the flavors of Nola, but we recommend you stop in the French Quarter to savor the dishes at the Gumbo Shop.