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Live Music in New Orleans in December

Naughty Professor will take the stage at the Maple Leaf Bar on New Year's Eve. (Photo: Katie Sikora)

The holiday season has one way or another snuck up on us (read: me) again. While I was wrapping my head around the fact that December is here and that 2019 has come and gone, I compiled a list of the shows I am excited for this month. DJ Soul Sister is reprising her wildly popular dance night at the Ace Hotel, Quiana Lynell is hosting a double set at Snug Harbor, and between the three New Year’s Eve shows we have listed here, you can’t go wrong. Go to a show with your family if they are in town for the holidays or to avoid them when they stay too long (we were all thinking it). Musicians are service workers too, so remember to tip them as well this time of year!

December 3: Grayson Brockamp & the New Orleans Wildlife Band at Snug Harbor at 8pm. & 10 p.m.

Led by bassist Grayson Brockamp, The Wildlife Band caters to a broad audience with a repertoire that includes standards from the American Songbook as well as original music that crosses many genres. Whether playing a sultry pop ballad or swinging out on a burner, these top-notch musicians are comfortable taking risks in a variety of musical environments. The band’s chemistry combined with the positive energy of their lyrical material makes every performance fresh, alive, and raw.

Quiana Lynell (Photo: Katie Sikora)

December 7: Quiana Lynell at Snug Harbor at 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.

When Quiana Lynell takes a stage, she guides her listeners on a journey where “jazz collides with soul”, allowing the simplest of melodies to draw the listener in. She creates an environment with her music where love is paramount, emphasizing the importance of self-worth and respect through her music. In 2017, Lynell played with her trio at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival which resulted in landing a gig performing in Poland with Terence Blanchard’s Spike Lee tribute accompanied by a 75-piece orchestra.

December 13: Joy Clark, Julie Odell, Kei Slaughter, and Kathryn Rose Wood at The Tigermen Den at 6:30 p.m.

Locally-based songwriters Kathryn Rose Wood, Kei Slaughter, Joy Clark, and Julie Odell share the intimate stage at Tigermen Den for a stripped-down and solo showcase of each artist’s original works. Expect duets, collaborations, and surprise guests as this also marks Kathryn Rose Wood’s final local performance as a New Orleans resident before moving to Nashville in January 2020.

December 21: Motel Radio at One Eyed Jacks at 10 p.m.

Motel Radio is a New Orleans-based indie rock band. The band was born out of a songwriting collaboration between college roommates, Ian Wellman and Winston Triolo, that has since grown into a full band with the additions of drummer Eric Lloyd and Andrew Pancamo on bass. Catch the band this month at One Eyed Jacks.

December 14: DJ Soul Sister presents HUSTLE! At Three Keys at 10 p.m.

Since 2004, the now-legendary dance night in New Orleans started at Leo’s in the Bywater, moved to the infamous upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigny (nine years), threw down at the Hi-Ho Lounge (four years), and continues with DJ Soul Sister on the turntables at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel.

Naughty Professor (Photo: Katie Sikora)

December 31: Naughty Professor at Maple Leaf Bar at 11 p.m.

Naughty Professor is a New Orleans-based jazz-funk sextet whose horn-charged, high-energy live performances have earned them critical acclaim. Tickets include light food, champagne, and a guaranteed kiss at midnight!

December 31: Galactic and Southern Avenue at Tipitina’s at 10 p.m.

Galactic is back at their home venue of Tipitina’s this New Year’s Eve with the incomparable vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph and opening band Southern Avenue.

Big Freedia (Photo: Katie Sikora)

December 31: Big Freedia, Boyfriend, and Sweet Crude at the Joy Theater at 9 p.m.

Beloved local artists Sweet Crude, Boyfriend, and her majesty Big Freedia are coming together to bring you an unbelievable lineup to ring in the new year. Fresh off a six-week tour and her debut performance at the AMAs, I’d say the Queen Diva is ready to cut up upon her return home.

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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