Live music is 24/7, 365 days a year in New Orleans. You can hear it on the streets of the French Quarter, or in hotel lobbies, or in clubs throughout the city. For this edition of NOLA on $50, we’re focusing on the heartbeat and lifeblood of the city: live music! Follow the itinerary below for a taste of what a day full of live music can look like, and plan to visit New Orleans for NOLAxNOLA, a citywide celebration of live music and venues from September 23-October 9, 2022.
*Editor’s Note: Totals for all food and beverage purchases include tax and gratuity. Please always remember to tip your servers + musicians. The schedule of shows varies daily; find our live music schedule here.
Start your day in the French Quarter by securing tickets to the free afternoon concert at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. All patrons wishing to attend a daytime public performance must receive a pass from the front desk, located on the first floor of the museum, which will be collected at the door of the Performance Center. Passes are available day of show beginning at 10 a.m. with a limit of two (2) per person available on a first come, first served basis. Today we saw The Jazz Foundation of America & NOLAxNOLA present: Philip DeGruy #NOLAxNOLA.
With our tickets secured, we got lunch next door at Meals from the Heart Café in the French Market. This health-focused, quick-serviced food stand prepares fresh and organic foods made daily using less sodium, no trans fats, low sugars, low to no cholesterol and no pork or pork by-products. We got the red beans and rice, which came out to $8.67 with tax and tip.
It’s time for the show at the Jazz Museum. It’s all about the electric guitar when it comes to Phillip DeGruy. The Jazz Museum regularly hosts local musicians in performances that are free and open to the public, so check their calendar here for the latest on who’s performing next.
The music never stops in NOLA, so next we headed to Preservation Hall for their first show of the evening, a 5 p.m. spot featuring the Preservation Hall All Stars. We bought our tickets in advance, which came out to $30.92 each with taxes and fees.
Among the most legendary venues in New Orleans is Preservation Hall. Presenting traditional jazz dating back to the 1950s, the venue presents intimate, acoustic concerts over 350 nights a year featuring ensembles from a current collective of 50+ local master practitioners. Preservation Hall is a must for any visitor to New Orleans (the venue is open to all ages).
The great thing about spending a day catching live music in the French Quarter is that you’re bound to come across a few street musicians jamming out in impromptu shows. Keep a little cash on hand to tip the artists bringing music to the streets.
After an afternoon full of live music, we sat down at Napoleon House for dinner. Their specialty is the Italian muffuletta, and the half serves one person for just $11. Sink your teeth into this decadent sandwich stacked with ham, Genoa salami, pastrami, Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, and house made Italian olive salad. We paid $14.45 with tax and tip.
Next, we headed to the Davenport Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton on Canal Street. Enjoy the sounds of resident musician Jeremy Davenport and his band Wednesdays-Thursdays from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays from 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Make sure to tip your musicians!
We called it a night there, but for many, the evening is just beginning. Why not head over to Frenchmen Street and pop into a show at d.b.a.? Or perhaps you’d prefer to venture Uptown for a late-night set at Tipitina’s? Why not head to Zony Mash Beer Project for a brew and some grub? In New Orleans, the music is nonstop. Check out our live music calendar here and start planning.
FINAL PRICE BREAKDOWN
Meals from the Heart Café: $8.67
Preservation Hall: $30.92
Napoleon House: $14.45