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Thursdays at Twilight Kicks Off Fall 2017 Season

Thursdays at Twilight look out onto the Botanical Garden grounds during an evening of top-notch tunes.

In some cities, music lovers have to wait until after dark to let their ears commune with their favorite sounds. That’s not how we roll.

City Park Botanical Garden (photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park)
City Park Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park)

As twilight settles on City Park’s centuries-old live oaks each Thursday in the fall, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters (1 Palm Dr.) inside the New Orleans Botanical Garden opens its doors for an early evening concert series featuring a mix of local jazz, R&B, rock, swing and more. Staged in one of the park’s prettiest indoor venues, the shows look out onto the Botanical Garden’s acres of colorful blooms from around the world. Not a bad lagniappe for an evening of top-notch tunes.

The 2017 fall season kicks off Sept. 7 with singer Lena Prima (yep, that Prima – her dad is Louis). Prima’s latest album was a live recording from the Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall featuring classic tunes like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “What a Wonderful World” and “That Old Black Magic.”

Another highlight on this year’s program is Sarah Quintana’s Oct. 5 performance. Mixing elements of jazz and folk with inspirations drawn from her water-as-muse obsession, Quintana’s Twilight program ensemble includes modern jazz saxophonist Rex Gregory, plus singer Robin Sherman, trumpeter Emily Mikesill and drummer Shawn Myers.

Sarah Quintana
Sarah Quintana will perform the Thursdays at Twilight series at City Park on October 5, 2017. Photo: M. Roualt

The Thursdays at Twilight Garden Concert Series continues through Nov. 16, when it wraps up with music satire pros Benny Grunch and the Bunch.

Snack options and a bar stocked with Mint Juleps and other tasty adult beverages, along with PG-rated thirst quenchers, are available for purchase at all shows. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $10, but it’s worth reserving your spot as far in advance as possible because the concerts do tend to sell out quickly. Not that the concerts are not included in Friends of City Park memberships. You can drop the good folks at the garden a line at (504) 483-9488 or e-mail garden (at) with reservations, requests or other questions.

Thursdays at Twilight Fall Concert Schedule

Sept. 7: Lena Prima

Sept. 14: Wanda Rouzan

Sept. 21: Tim Laughlin

Sept. 28: John Boutte

Oct. 5: Sarah Quintana

Oct. 12: The New Orleans Mystics

Oct. 19: John Rankin and Friends

Oct. 26: Cullen Landry and the Midnight Streetcar

Nov. 2: High Ground Drifters

Nov. 9: Linnzi Zaorski

Nov. 16: Benny Grunch and the Bunch

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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