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Holiday Concerts in New Orleans

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

Holiday concerts fill the pews at St. Louis Cathedral (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Live music abounds year-round in New Orleans, but as the days grow shorter and holiday lights begin brightening the longer winter nights, a new breed of 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.

Holiday Concerts in New Orleans

Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, all dressed up for the holidays (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concert Series

The French Quarter’s classic holiday music showcase returns with early evening performances from great local artists.

When: December 2-19, shows run from 6-7 p.m.

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

Cost: Free


Monday, Dec. 2: Ellis Marsalis

Wednesday, Dec. 4: St. Peter Claver Gospel Choir

Thursday, Dec. 5: Sweet Cecilia

Monday, Dec. 9: A Preservation Halliday with the Preservation All-Stars

Wednesday, Dec. 11: José Fermin Ceballos with Merengue 4

Thursday, Dec. 12: Opera Creole

Sunday, Dec. 15: Quiana Lynell

Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Zulu Gospel Choir

Thursday, Dec. 19 – Christmas Organ Spectacular ft. Loriae Llorca

A Merry Canteen Christmas

The museum’s top-notch female vocal trio, the Victory Belles, present World War II-era renditions of Christmas classics in A Merry Canteen Christmas.

When: December 1-23, weekends and select weekdays with dinner shows at 6 p.m. and matinee buffets at 11:30 a.m. See the website for seating times.

Where: The National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St.

Tickets: $33.51 – $65.99

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

Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Live local music provides the soundtrack to this annual tree sculpture bonfire on the ferry landing. This year, jam out to DJ Rik Ducci, the All Saints Church Choir, and Landry-Walker Marching Band as the bonfire is set ablaze. The Algiers Bonfire & Concert also features food vendors and great views of the city.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: Algiers Point Ferry Landing

Cost: Free

St. Augustine Church Concerts (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

St. Augustine Church Concerts

St. Augustine Church, the oldest African-American Catholic church in the U.S., hosts its annual concert series every December. Hear the sounds of jazz, gospel, and soul music all while taking in the beauty of the church in the historic Tremé Neighborhood. The concerts take place the first three Saturdays of December at 4 p.m.

When: December 7, 14, and 21 at 4 p.m.

Where: 1210 Gov. Nicholls St.

Cost: Free


Saturday, Dec. 7: The Nayo Jones Experience

Saturday, Dec. 14: Audrey Ferguson and the Voices of Distinction

Saturday, Dec. 21: Loose Cattle

Holiday Spectacular: The Stompers Save Christmas

The 610 Stompers are joined by special guests artists at this year’s Holiday Spectacular.

When: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Mahalia Jackson Theater, 1419 Basin St.

Tickets: $10 – $140

Baroque Christmas featuring Handel’s Messiah

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra perform selections from Handel’s “Messiah” at the orchestra’s annual Baroque Christmas event.

When: Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way

Tickets: $20 – $99

Caroling at Jackson Square. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)
Caroling at Jackson Square (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Caroling in Jackson Square

Follow along with candles and sheet music as New Orleanians fill Jackson Square with this annual tradition dating back to 1946. The caroling begins at 7 p.m., however, come early to attend the annual St. Louis Cathedral Choir Concert, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. inside the cathedral.

When: Sunday, Dec. 22, gates open at 6:30 p.m., caroling begins at 7 p.m.

Where: Jackson Square, 700 Decatur St.

Cost: Free

Jennifer Odell is a freelance music writer. Her work appears regularly in DownBeat, Jazz Times, Offbeat and the Gambit, among other publications, and she leads the New Orleans chapter of the Jazz Journalists Association. In her spare time, she enjoys second lining to the Hot 8 or TBC, costuming, and eating all of the crawfish.

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