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Second Line - Jazz in the Park
Second Line - Jazz in the Park

Music History

Music commemorates good times and bad in New Orleans 

Born of both hope and despair, the New Orleans soundtrack is as disparate as the history of its population, fueled by the influx of enslaved Africans to the waves of immigrants from places like Sicily, Ireland, Germany and, in more recent years, Mexico and Central America.

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, the city of Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Pete Fountain, Harry Connick, Jr. and the Marsalis family.

It’s a place where gospel music achieves lofty heights and marching bands step, dip and sway down well-worn parade routes. It’s a place where Mardi Gras Indians first inspired the call and response now associated with hip-hop, rap and bounce.

New Orleanians care deeply about family, faith, food, traditions, and, perhaps most of all, about making a joyful noise. Here we take our brassy expression of bliss to the streets in celebration of life, death and everything in between.

Famous New Orleans Musicians

  • New Orleans native, Charles “Buddy” Bolden, is considered the first person to ever play jazz. Click here to learn more about Buddy Bolden and his part in jazz's history.
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  • Jelly Roll Morton is regarded as the first true jazz composer. He was the first to write down his jazz arrangements – and a number of his compositions became jazz staples. 
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  • Louis Daniel "Satchmo" Armstrong was one of the best jazz musicians and greatest entertainment personalities the world has ever known. Learn more about his influence and legacy. 
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New Orleans Musical Hot Spots

New Orleans, Louisiana: Musical Hot Spots
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New Orleans Musical Hot Spots