Music has always been essential to the culture of New Orleans. In the early days of the nineteenth century the city was home to many diverse groups of people. This allowed for a mixing of traditions including food, music, and much more. It’s impossible to visit without hearing jazz being played on the streets and in many of the local establishments. Every year the city comes alive to celebrate Mardi Gras and jazz has become an important part of this famous tradition. Read on the learn why you can’t have jazz music with New Orleans.
From the French Opera House to Congo Square
New Orleans has always been a place deeply rooted in music. Congo Square, now located within Louis Armstrong Park is said to have been a place that was influential to the creation of jazz. The square was a gathering point for enslaved people on Sundays. As a way to help keep their traditions alive people would play African rhythms and dance. The city is also home to the first opera house in North America and was a common social outing starting back in the eighteenth century. Modern jazz music is the result of mixing these musical traditions together (along with other cultural influences).
The Jazz Icons From New Orleans
Many of the original jazz icons originated from Louisiana. Louis Armstrong is one of the most popular figures and has performed all over the world. He was a trumpeter that performed for decades from the 1920s up until his death in the 1970s. His talent and dedication helped bring jazz into the spotlight and influence other famous musicians including Earl Palmer, Louis Prima, Sydney Bechet, and many more.
Present Day Jazz Scene In New Orleans
Modern jazz sprung up in New Orleans in the 1950s. During this time, local musicians met trailblazers such as the famous trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Most of the local players who were eager to learn the new genre of music would find time away from their families and day jobs to practice. Jazz is still popular in New Orleans and visitors don’t have to search far to find it. Take a walk through the French Quarter and there’s a good chance you will stumble upon a bar or restaurant with live music. It’s normal to find live jazz bands performing on the weekends and some weekdays nights. If you’re lucky you may even come across a marching band.
Now is the best time to book a trip to New Orleans. There is so much to do, from historical neighborhoods to beautiful wilderness. Come down with the whole family and experience the birthplace of jazz. Hope to see you soon!