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Best Local Things to Do

NOLA Brass Festival, Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Plus More Weekend Picks

Brassfest
The Original Pinettes Brass Band will perform at NOLA Brass Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)

This weekend in New Orleans, enjoy a festival or two (or three), see a musical, or head out to a crawfish boil. Jersey Boys stops at the Saenger Theater on its national tour, while Le Petit premieres a local production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. NOLA Ahava Fest, Soul Fest, and NOLA Brass Fest bring soul food and music to different parts of the city. End the weekend with a Drag Brunch in the Botanical Gardens of City Park.

ALL MONTH

Celebrate Women’s History Month – Celebrate Women’s History Month in New Orleans with our roundup of events, or by supporting these women-owned businesses. This Saturday, check out a concert from Alexis and the Samurai with special guest Alexandra Scott at the Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss, Corey Greenan and Michael Milton in Jersey Boys (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

ALL WEEKEND

Jersey Boys – Hear the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons with Broadway’s acclaimed Jersey Boys. Laden with hits, you won’t be able to resist singing along to “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and others. Performances are March 6-8 at the Saenger Theater. Tickets start at $30.

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson – August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson is a 1987 play that tells the story of one African-American family’s legacy as they grapple with the past and look toward the future. This intimate story is one you won’t want to miss. Performances are March 6-22 at Le Petit Theatre. Tickets start at $15.

Paula Gillen: Head Trip – Ten Nineteen presents Head Trip, an exhibition of photographs and prints by Paula Gillen. Head Trip includes 18 photographs from Gillen’s prolific early years, from the Baltimore art scene in the 70s to Chicago in the 80s to today. This is the first exhibition at Ten Nineteen, a gallery located where Uptown meets downtown New Orleans at 1019 Erato St., founded by Elizabeth Monaghan in 2019. Friday, March 6, is the opening night of the exhibit, which runs through May 2, 2020.

FRIDAY

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra First Fridays – Enjoy a free concert from the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra this Friday. Michael Watson and the Alchemy will perform at the New Orleans Jazz Market from 5-7 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

SATURDAY

NOLA Brass Fest – Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band headlines NOLA Brass Fest, a celebration of New Orleans’ rich brass band tradition in Armstrong Park. TBC Brass Band, Pinettes Brass Band, plus many others will perform at the festival, and food and drinks will be available. The festival starts with a memorial parade honoring local musicians who have died and a ribbon cutting ceremony before the first performance at noon. Admission to the festival is $10 and festival hours are noon to 9 p.m. Get a taste of New Orleans’ brass band culture here.

First Saturday Gallery Openings – Go for a stroll down Julia Street, stop in at the Arts District galleries, and experience New Orleans art at its finest. Participating galleries include Ariodante Gallery, Callan Contemporary, Hall Barnett Gallery, plus more, open from 6-9 p.m.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

NOLA Ahava Festival – This first-year festival is coming to New Orleans this weekend, from March 7-8. Enjoy music from Rockin’ Dopsie, Robin Barnes, Bonerama, Amanda Shaw, and more across two stages plus a Gospel tent at Woldenberg Riverfront Park. Food vendors include Saints and Sinners Restaurant, Teds Eats and Treats, Sneaux balls from Heaven, and Asian Outdoor Kitchen. The festival is free to attend and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.

Thousands of visitors came to the Zoo for one of New Orleans’ biggest celebrations of African American culture for Soul Fest 2019. The two-day family-oriented event featured live musical performances by local jazz, rhythm & blues, and gospel artists (Photo by Bernie Saul)

Soul Fest – Soul Fest at the Audubon Zoo is a family-friendly festival that celebrates African-American culture. Enjoy delicious soul food from a variety of vendors and performances from over 10 different artists, including Sierra Green & The Soul Machine, Nayo Jones Experience, and CASME’. Tickets are free with purchase of zoo admission, which are $22.95 for adults and $17.95 for children and seniors in advance. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

SUNDAY

Poppy Tooker’s Drag Brunch at Kitchen in the Garden – Poppy Tooker wrote the book on drag brunches, and now she’s bringing the show to Kitchen in the Garden in New Orleans City Park. The brunch will feature Poppy’s recipes from her book prepared by Chef Pat White from Karibu Kitchen, as well as bottomless mimosas. Tickets are $65 and the brunch starts at 10:30 a.m.

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