Though music scholars may quibble with the assertion that New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, there is certainly enough evidence to argue we are its cradle and nursery. One of the most musically significant spots in the city is Congo Square, located within Louis Armstrong Park. Here, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, both enslaved Africans and Free People of Color engaged in a lively market accompanied by a soundtrack imported from Africa and the Caribbean. Those drumbeats echo in New Orleans brass bands today.
Starting September 20, visitors and locals can enjoy this musical tradition continued every Thursday in the fall. Jazz in the Park returns to Armstrong Park and runs until November 8. The series kicks off with Charmaine Neville and Rockin Dopsie taking the stage and later features popular local acts from Soul Rebels to Los Hombres Caliente. Concerts last from 5-7 p.m. and visitors can enjoy an array of food and drink supplied by local eateries.
9/20: Charmain Neville, 5:00 p.m.; Rockin Dopsie Jr., 6:15 p.m.
9/27: Africa Brass, 4:00 p.m.; Stooges Brass Band, 5:00 p.m.; Russell Batiste and Friends featuring Jason Neville with the Wild Tchoupitoulas Posse, 6:30 p.m.
10/4: Stephanie Jordan, 5:00 p.m.; Soul Rebels, 6:30 p.m.
10/11: Treme Brass Band, 5:00 p.m.; Renard Poche Band, 6:30 p.m.
10/18: Treme Funktet, 5:00 p.m.; John Boutte, 6:30 p.m.
10/25: Jamal Batiste, 5:00 p.m.; Big Sam’s Funky Nation, 6:15 p.m.
11/1: Leroy Jones, 5:00 p.m.; Los Hombres Calientes featuring Bill Summers & Irvin Mayfield, 6:15 p.m.
11/8: Keep the Music Free benefit concert featuring MyNameIsJohnMichael, Bill Summers, Irma Thomas, George Porter, Jr. and many more!
Elizabeth Pearce gives historic cocktail walking tours of the French Quarter. When she’s not drinking or talking about drinking, she’s writing about drinking at Neat with a Twist. To find out more, visit Elizabeth’s website.