You'll find many iconic jazz clubs in the French Quarter, though Preservation Hall may top them all. Located on 726 St. Peter Street, this place was one of the few jazz clubs in New Orleans during the 1960s and 1970s that played traditional jazz. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays regular engagements here, and they've had a strong following for 50 years while helping shape a resurgence in the old school sounds. That might increase now that the band has a new recording out.
Preservation Hall sells out on a nightly basis, so always arrive at least an hour before doors open to allow yourself a good place in line for a top-notch seat. Sorry, it's one of the few clubs that doesn't serve alcoholic drinks.
House of Blues
If you're more in the mood for the blues, then you've come to the most iconic jazz/blues club in New Orleans. Located on famous Decatur Street, House of Blues has hosted every blues great you can name since its inception. It's also one of the few clubs in the French Quarter that doubles as a church on Sundays. Go in there on Sunday mornings to hear Gospel groups sing their praises while having a brunch. During the other six days, don't miss the delicious food in the dining section called Crossroads at House of Blues.
The Bombay Club
This French Quarter jazz club is a little more upscale that you're more apt to see in New York City. While that might go against the usual down-to-earth atmosphere of New Orleans jazz clubs, it's worth a visit considering it's a favorite of many well known names. It's located on 830 Conti Street and features a full-service bar so you can sip cocktails into the night while listening to live jazz music. Don't miss the food either that features a luxurious Nouveau Creole menu by Executive Chef Nick Gile.
Check the site's event schedule to see which musicians will be playing each week.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe
Here you have a Decatur Street jazz club with the famous name of Jimmy Buffett attached, even though Buffett has never been associated strongly with jazz. Nevertheless, it's still considered a jazz club because that's mainly what's played here. As you might guess, drinks are served while you listen. You can also enjoy hamburgers and seafood while you assimilate the laid back atmosphere based on Jimmy Buffett's music persona.
Another reason to go with your family for lunch or dinner: Those between the ages of 18-21 are allowed inside.
As you can see, you have a lot awaiting you in the French Quarter, with the jazz clubs only being starters. Don't hesitate to book a New Orleans tour at New Orleans Tour Center for your next vacation.
Author: Erich Roeseler