Top 5 Jazz Clubs for Live Music in New Orleans
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
  2. The Spotted Cat Music Club
  3. Preservation Hall
  4. Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub
  5. The Maison

When the sun dips below the horizon and the vibrant New Orleans nightlife takes over, there's nothing quite like the soulful strumming of a jazz band to set the mood. As the birthplace of jazz, the city is brimming with venues that offer live music, but if you're looking for the best jazz clubs in New Orleans, we've got you covered. Here's a rundown of the top five must-visit jazz joints in the Big Easy.

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

Located in the heart of the Frenchmen Street music scene, Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. This long-standing jazz club has been churning out melodious tunes for over 30 years.

The Atmosphere

Imagine a cozy setting—dimmed lights, intimate tables, and walls adorned with portraits of jazz legends. It's the perfect scenario for a night filled with soulful music and delicious cuisine. You'll find yourself immersed in the rich history of New Orleans jazz culture.

The Music

What sets Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro apart from other jazz clubs in New Orleans is the caliber of musicians it attracts. Home to the Charmaine Neville Band and Ellis Marsalis—the patriarch of the Marsalis family—this venue offers a musical experience like no other. With two shows every night, there's always a chance to catch a live performance.

The Menu

But it's not just about the music. Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro also boasts a fantastic menu. From fresh seafood dishes to classic Creole cuisine, your taste buds will be dancing to the beat of New Orleans flavors. Try the Snug Harbor Gumbo—you won't regret it!

In conclusion, Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro is more than just a jazz club. It's a cultural experience steeped in the rich heritage of New Orleans jazz. Whether you're a fan of jazz or just looking to explore the local music scene, this venue should be on your list of jazz clubs in New Orleans to visit.

The Spotted Cat Music Club

Just a short stroll from Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, you'll find The Spotted Cat Music Club. It's a gem among jazz clubs in New Orleans, offering an authentic and laid-back atmosphere that's hard to beat.

The Vibe

At The Spotted Cat, you'll find an eclectic crowd swaying to the rhythm of jazz, from seasoned musicians to wide-eyed tourists. The venue's bare-bones decor and minimalistic approach allow the music to take center stage. It's about the jazz, pure and simple.

The Performances

With a lineup of local bands that play a range of jazz styles, The Spotted Cat is a hub of musical talent. From traditional jazz to swing, and everything in between, the club is a testament to the diversity and vibrancy of the New Orleans jazz scene. Performances start in the afternoon and continue late into the night, so you can feel the beat whenever you please.

The Drinks

While The Spotted Cat doesn't serve food, they make up for it with a well-stocked bar. Their specialty cocktails are the perfect accompaniment to the foot-tapping rhythms. Try their signature Spotted Cat cocktail—a refreshing mix that'll keep you cool as you soak in the tunes.

So, if you're seeking a no-frills, high-energy jazz experience, The Spotted Cat Music Club is the place to be. Its vibrant atmosphere and impressive lineup of musicians make it one of the best jazz clubs in New Orleans.

Preservation Hall

Next stop on our tour of jazz clubs in New Orleans is the legendary Preservation Hall. With a history spanning over six decades, this place has witnessed some of the most iconic jazz performances in the city's history.

The Legacy

Preservation Hall is often referred to as the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans. Since its inception in 1961, the venue has been committed to preserving and honoring the city's rich jazz heritage. It's like stepping back in time—right into the heart of the original New Orleans jazz scene.

The Music

Known for its traditional New Orleans Jazz performances, Preservation Hall is where the old and the new collide. It hosts nightly concerts featuring a rotating cast of performers. These include both long-standing members of the Hall's resident band, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and up-and-coming talent. It's a unique blend of the old guard and the next generation of jazz musicians.

The Experience

At Preservation Hall, it's not just about the music—it's about the experience. With its intimate setting, rustic charm and the soul-stirring performances, a night at Preservation Hall is an unforgettable journey into the heart of New Orleans' musical soul.

So, if you're looking to experience jazz in its purest form, Preservation Hall should be at the top of your list. Its rich history, incredible music, and truly unique atmosphere make it one of the most revered jazz clubs in New Orleans.

Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub

Let's wander further into the musical maze of jazz clubs in New Orleans and enter a place where European charm meets New Orleans jazz - Fritzel's European Jazz Pub.

The Setting

Located in a beautiful 1831 building on Bourbon Street, Fritzel's boasts a unique European vibe that sets it apart. The antique-filled interiors and the warm ambiance make it a cozy haven for jazz lovers.

The Line-Up

Fritzel’s is renowned for its live traditional jazz performances. The line-up here features a mix of local legends and touring musicians who play everything from Dixieland to Swing. And guess what? The unexpected jam sessions here might just be the best in town!

The Crowd

What's a jazz club without its crowd? Fritzel’s sees a mix of both locals and tourists, all united by their love for jazz. The audience participation is encouraged, making for a lively and communal atmosphere.

So, if you're in the mood for an immersive jazz experience with a European twist, make sure to pay a visit to Fritzel's European Jazz Pub. It truly stands out among the jazz clubs in New Orleans for its unique mix of music, atmosphere, and history.

The Maison

Continuing our musical journey through the jazz clubs in New Orleans, we now find ourselves at The Maison. This spot has a reputation for its vibrant atmosphere and eclectic line-up.

Venue Vibes

The Maison, located on the historic Frenchmen Street, offers three levels of entertainment. The music ranges from jazz to funk, brass bands, and more. With its striking murals and energetic crowd, the vibe here is absolutely electric.

Music and More

What makes The Maison really stand out among other jazz clubs in New Orleans? It's not just a music venue—it's a complete entertainment experience. You can catch live music seven days a week, dine on delicious Creole cuisine, and even take a free swing dance lesson!

The Crowd

At The Maison, you'll find a diverse crowd of music lovers, dancers, and foodies. It's a place where both locals and visitors come to enjoy the NOLA music scene at its best.

The Maison is indeed a must-visit destination for any jazz aficionado visiting New Orleans. Its lively atmosphere, great music, and delicious food offer a taste of the city's rich culture and musical heritage.

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