One of the most common questions for anyone visiting the Big Easy is that of where to find real New Orleans jazz. While there are many great spots around the city, most notably Frenchmen Street, this is a list of all the jazz clubs and cafés in the French Quarter. Many of these spots are very old and historic, and offer the historic feel that makes jazz in New Orleans distinct and unique in all the world.
One of the most famous and historic spots in music history in New Orleans, and arguably one of the most famous in the world is Preservation Hall. With three shows per night, you sit on the floor here and just listen to the best jazz anywhere. It's all about the music at this spot. No food, no drinks, just great music. If you only have time to go to one jazz spot while you're in New Orleans, go to Preservation Hall.
The Jazz Playhouse is located inside the very historic and storied Royal Sonesta Hotel. They offer fantastic ticketed shows, so you'll want to purchase tickets on their site. They feature a regular lineup of fantastic jazz and burlesque shows in a very posh and decadent jazz lounge.
This jazz lounge in the luxurious Ritz Carlton has a resident jazz band, headed by Jeremy Davenport. Enjoy fantastic music in the beautifully-appointed cocktail lounge in this luxury hotel on Canal St, but be sure to make your reservations ahead of time. Parking is validated for customers by the Ritz Carlton.
Mahogany Jazz Hall has live jazz 7 days/week, so it's one of the easiest spots to catch a great show any day. There is often no cover charge either, just buy some drinks. There is no food at this spot, so be sure to grab dinner first. They also feature burlesque shows, just check their calendar for upcoming dates.
Fine dining, cocktails, jazz, cabaret...The Bombay Club has everything! Nightly music features small enesmbles, jazz performers, and cabaret. They feature the finest food of any of the jazz lounges on this list, so this is a great spot if you're also hungry.
This outdoor venue provides the perfect spot to step away from the craziness of Bourbon Street into the oasis of a park in the middle of the Quarter. Featuring some of the best local jazz talent, Legends Park offers one of the few spots in the city for those with pets to sit and enjoy jazz without having to leave your pet behind. Drinks and some food are available in the parks' restaurant and bar offerings as well.
Fritzel's features their own resident jazz band alongside a regular rotation, and is one of very few places left on Bourbon Street to hear real New Orleans jazz. Their historic 1831 building makes them part of the history of the Quarter, and you'll feel like you stepped back in time here.
The now-famous Harry Connick Jr served his apprenticeship here, and many extremely talented and dedicated jazz musicians have played and continue to play here to this day. This is another one of the few Bourbon Street jazz clubs, so be prepared for the craziness if you're there in the evening. It is conveniently close to the famous Pat O'Briens and Preservation Hall, making it a perfect nightcap to a good evening.
This spot brings creole cuisine to the table (literally) alongside fantastic live jazz five nights/week. The setting is more casual than some of the finer jazz lounges, so this is a good spot if you're already out and about, and don't feel like changing into evening wear to hear some good jazz.
This article would be amiss without a mention of jazz brunch in the Quarter. Brunch itself originated at Brennnan's under the direction of Ella Brennan, while jazz brunch originated at Commander's Palace, also under Ella Brennan! The tradition remains strong even today. Here are a couple of the best jazz brunch spots in the Quarter...not an exhaustive list, but a couple of the best ones.