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GoNOLA Guide to Live Music in New Orleans in July

Alfred Banks (Photo: Katie Sikora)

During our busiest times of the year, locals work around the clock to make sure that the people coming to visit and make memories in our fair city are having the time of their lives. But once the festival gates close and the temperature begins to skyrocket, the venues and the bars are where we flock. Many of the shows this month are free to attend and welcome us into the smaller, darker, and quieter venues. Whether you are taking in improvised jazz at Sidebar in Mid-City or being blown away by the NOJO 7 at Three Keys in the Ace Hotel, you will feel relaxed and entertained with your feet up and a Sazerac (or a Pimm’s cup…or daiquiri…) in hand.

Alfred Banks (Photo: Katie Sikora)

July 6: Rakim with Soul Rebels & Alfred Banks at Tipitina’s at 10 p.m.

Alfred Banks is New Orleans’ “most underrated” rapper these days, but that isn’t to say he hasn’t been around. Fresh off a tour to Canada with Tank and The Bangas, you can’t ask for a better lineup than one that starts with/features his music. The Soul Rebels have their summer cut out for them, playing with and opening for acts like Big Boi, Lettuce, Wu Tang Clan, Mannie Fresh, and you know, the Rolling Stones! Rakim with Soul Rebels & Alfred Banks at Tips is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Robin Barnes (Photo: Katie Sikora)

July 7: Robin Barnes // Pat Casey at the Spotted Cat at 7 p.m. // 10 p.m.

With a voice that is as powerful with a whisper as it is with a bellow, contemporary New Orleans jazz singer Robin Barnes is here to stun audiences. Robin grew up surrounded by jazz sounds, as made evident by a #5 debut on the Traditional Jazz Albums Billboard charts in 2016, but her current sound, Robin Barnes & The Fiya Birds, is more Chaka Khan meets Ella Fitzgerald. Stick around for Pat Casey and The New Sound, an energetic and exhilarating group fusing both classic and modern jazz with Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and funk. The group plays original material as well as inspired arrangements of quintessential classics.

Julie Odell (Photo: Katie Sikora)

July 10: Andrew Duhon, Julie Odell, and Travers Geoffray at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.

This singer-songwriter heavy bill is stacked and if there is any show you do not miss this month, this is it. Andrew Duhon is a songwriter from New Orleans, a storyteller with an undeniable voice that is both weighted and soulful. He has toured solo for much of his career, and that troubadour element is certainly present. He is an usher of modern day folklore. Julie Odell’s beautifully haunting vocals will stir something magical and inspiring inside you and Travers Geoffray’s solo set will have you stomping and dancing like an old Mississippi Rail Company in an intimate setting.

July 12: Space & Harmony at Tipitina’s Free Fridays at 10 p.m.

Featuring members of both Naughty Professor (see this month’s Emerging Artist series for their interview) and The Revivalists, this super group will not disappoint (especially since the entire show is free!).

Travers Geoffrey (Photo: Katie Sikora)

July 13: NOJO 7 at Three Keys in the Ace Hotel at 9:30 p.m.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s NOJO 7 is a small ensemble that focuses on brassy contemporary compositions and progressive, cross-genre collaborations. Get the talent and musicianship that is the jazz orchestra in the intimate setting of a small, dark jazz club.

July 16: Rebirth Brass Band at Maple Leaf Bar at 10 p.m.

We all know and love Rebirth Brass Band—how could you not? But since festival season is over and we have all had a good, long, sweaty chance to catch our breath, let’s make our way back to our favorite musical institutions.

Space & Harmony (Photo: Katie Sikora)

July 22: Instant Opus at Sidebar at 9 p.m.

Scatterjazz is the latest musical series out of Sidebar Nola, a relatively new jazz club serving the Mid-City area and Instant Opus, the avant-garde jazz based mashup programing, has set up shop. Tonight’s show features Will Thompson, Jesse Morrow, and Roger Powell.

July 29: Kuwaisiana at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.

Kuwaisiana is back! Hopefully covering them twice in two months will clue everyone in as to how much this band rocks. With songs in Arabic and English, Kuwaisiana is an indie rock band based in New Orleans. The six-piece is led by Kuwaiti songwriter +Aziz who works with the group to produce a danceable big band sound with a world music influence.

Katie Sikora graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Visual Journalism and worked as Photo Editor at The Peninsula Pulse in Door County, Wis., Media Strategist for Levy Restaurants in Chicago, Ill., and an Archivist at The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. before pursuing her namesake photography business shooting everything from shark tagging research to vodou ceremonies and—you guessed it—weddings! Her photographs have been published by The Chicago Sun-Times, Gambit, The Times-Picayune, RedEye Chicago, The New Orleans Advocate, Houseshow Magazine, Antigravity Magazine, In The Bite Magazine, Thrillist, CBS Chicago, NBC Chicago, and the World Wildlife Fund amongst others. She is the creator and director of The Sexism Project, an ongoing portrait and interview series featuring the stories of real women in real industries experiencing real sexism.

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