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Music

Hark! Holiday Concerts in New Orleans

Fill your ears with the sounds of the season this month with these holiday concerts.

Gospel choirs, jazz bands, classical artists and more perform in historic St. Louis Cathedral throughout December. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Ratliff)

Live music abounds year-round (and all week long) in New Orleans, but as the days grow shorter and holiday lights begin brightening the longer winter nights, a new breed of Crescent City concerts start popping up around town. Yep, it’s holiday time, folks. Read on to see where and when you can fill your ears with the sounds of the season this month with these holiday concerts …

Holiday Concerts in New Orleans

A choir sings at St. Louis Cathedral. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism and Marketing)

The St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concert Series

The French Quarter’s classic holiday music showcase returns with early evening performances from Irma Thomas, Tim Laughlin and more great local artists.

When: Dec. 1 – 18; shows run from 6 p.m. until about 7 p.m.

Where: The St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley

Cost: Free

Schedule:

  • Dec. 1: Joe Lastie Family Gospel
  • Dec. 4: Charmaine Neville
  • Dec. 5: Rachel von Voorhees
  • Dec. 6: Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • Dec. 8: Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir
  • Dec. 11: Tim Laughlin
  • Dec. 12: Alexis and the Samurai with guests
  • Dec. 13: Irma Thomas
  • Dec. 14: Tony Green and Gypsy Jazz
  • Dec. 15: Emmanuel Arakelian
  • Dec. 18: St. Louis Cathedral’s Choir
  • Dec. 18: Caroling in Jackson Square (gates open at 6:30 p.m.; caroling begins at 7 p.m.)
The Victory Belles. (Photo via Victory Belles on Facebook)

The Victory Belles’ “A Vintage Christmas” at The National WWII Museum

The museum’s top-notch female vocal trio, the Victory Belles, present World War II-era renditions of classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

When: Dec. 2 – 26, weekends and select weekdays with dinner shows at 8 p.m (6 p.m. seating)., brunch shows at 1 p.m. (11 a.m. seating), and matinee buffets at 11:45 a.m. See website for seating times as meal-inclusive tickets seat patrons earlier.

Where: The National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St.

Tickets: $29 – $65

Local school choirs sing carols in the Hotel Monteleone lobby every year during the holidays. (Photo via Hotel Monteleone on Facebook)

Local school choirs in the Hotel Monteleone lobby

Kiddos from local choirs raise their voices in song for the holidays.

When: Dec 3-4; Dec. 7-8; Dec. 11; Dec. 14 – 18; start times vary from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; check website for listings.

Where: The Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St.

Cost: Free

Bonfires (and fireworks) on the levees are a holiday tradition. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Live music from rockers Bag of Donuts and a second line led by the Landry-Walker High School Marching Band provide the soundtrack to this annual tree sculpture bonfire on the ferry landing. The Algiers Bonfire & Concert also features food trucks and great views of the city.

When: Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Algiers Ferry Landing

Cost: Free

A glimpse inside St. Augustine Church. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

St. Augustine Church Concerts: “Welcome Yule”

At the St. Augustine Church concert series, the country’s oldest African-American Catholic church hosts performances by some of the city’s top jazz and gospel artists.

When: Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.

Where: St. Augustine Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St.

Cost: Free

There are also additional St. Augustine Church performances:

  • Dec. 3: Christmas, New Orleans-style with James Andrews (jazz)
  • Dec. 10: Christmas, New Orleans-style, artist TBA
  • Dec. 17: Christmas, New Orleans-style, artist TBA

An exterior shot of the Marigny Opera House. (Photo via Marigny Opera House on Facebook)

A Creole Christmas at the Marigny Opera House

OperaCreole looks back at 19th- and 20th-century Advent traditions popular in New Orleans.

When: Dec. 9-10, 8 p.m.

Where: Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors

Orpheum Holiday Spectacular feat. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the 610 Stompers

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra inside The Orpheum. (Photo courtesy Zack Smith Photography)

Ron Spigelman and the 610 Stompers are joined by guests including the Roots of Music, Alexis Marceaux, the New Orleans Children’s Chorus and the Archdiocese of New Orleans Mass Gospel Choir at this year’s Orpheum Holiday Spectacular.

When: Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way

Tickets: Adults $20 – $99; children $10

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Outside the Bachs: Baroque Christmas”

The LPO, under the direction of guest conductor David Danzma,  performs “Christmas Oratorio,” selections from Handel’s “The Messiah” at the orchestra’s Baroque Christmas event.

When: Dec. 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way

Tickets: $20 to $55

Ceiling detail at The Orpheum. (Photo courtesy Jamey Shaw)

NOBT Presents: “The Nutcracker” at The Orpheum

The New Orleans Ballet Theatre performs the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at the newly renovated Orpheum.

When: Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: The Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way

Tickets: $25 – $75

Drums at Preservation Hall. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Creole Christmas at Preservation Hall

Lars Edegra’s St. Peter Street All-Stars plus guest vocalist Topsy Chapman perform their eighth year of traditional New Orleans holiday music at Creole Christmas, happening at the historic hall.

When: Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Where: Preservation Hall, 726 St Peter St.

Tickets: $30 – $60

Caroling at Jackson Square. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Caroling in Jackson Square

Follow along with a choir, candles and sheet music as New Orleanians fill Jackson Square with carols and smiles in this annual tradition dating back to 1946.

When: Dec. 18, gates at 6:30 p.m., caroling begins at 7 p.m.

Where: Jackson Square, 700 Decatur St.

Cost: Free

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