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Best Clubs with Live Music in New Orleans

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The Spotted Cat is an intimate, slightly formal bar for all those cool cats and kittens who enjoy live jazz with a local flavor. This place, however, is for purists — if you're looking for flamboyant performances and gimmicks, you won't find them here. Jazz outfits such as the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Jeremy Lyons and the Deltabilly Boys, and Tin Men perform at the Spotted Cat on a regular basis.

New Orleans sounds can be heard pouring out of the doors of the Balcony Music Club seven nights a week. As the club is located at the edge of the French Quarter and only steps from Frenchman Street nightlife, music lovers can step inside to listen to a wide variety of local music. Performers at the Balcony Music Club have included Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, The Soul Rebels Brass Band, and Washboard Chaz Trio. Patrons can purchase reasonably priced drinks at the casual club's front bar, or at the large back bar.

This is one of those places that make you wonder if they ever close. Open doors and no cover charge lure tourists and locals to listen to some of the best music in town. Authentic jazz that is loud and lively is almost non-stop from mid-afternoon to the wee hours of the morning at Maison Bourbon. Players include Wallace Davenport, Steve Slocum and Tommy Yetta. Patrons must be 21 or older. There is a one-drink minimum.

This large and lively spot on Frenchmen's street is always a good choice for a fun time out. This music hall and restaurant has three different stages, so there's always something playing and people on the dance floor. If you get hungry, the restaurant serves up delectable southern and Cajun favorites, from crawfish and gator to shrimp, grits and Po Boys.

After years of performing as one of New Orleans' top musicians, Irvin Mayfield is giving the city's other notable talent a place to perform. Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse, located inside of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street, entertains the jazz enthusiast alongside the casual listener with cocktails and nightly performances by notable musicians like Bob French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Shamarr Allen, and Jason Marsalis. While there generally is no cover charge to enjoy an evening at the Jazz Playhouse, a nominal cover charge may apply for special events. - Bethany Culp

Funky Pirate, this premier blues club on Bourbon Street features Big Al Carson and the Blues Masters and offers great drinks at local prices. It is not unusual to find a bouncer standing outside one of the many entrances with a sign declaring, "No cover, come on in!" With that kind of open-door policy it is hard to resist the blaring blues riff created by the talented guitarist. Plain and simple, if you want blues, this is the place to visit.

Grab your favorite brew and enjoy the underground bar scene at One Eyed Jacks. If a refined and elegant ambiance and soft music is what you are looking for, this definitely isn't the place for you! Burlesque performances, edgy punk and rock live acts, low-grade films and plenty of testosterone are what you can expect to find here. The bright colors and enthusiastic performances add to the vibrant atmosphere. A lot of events are scheduled, so check the website for your favorite.

One of the best nightclubs in New Orleans, Blue Nile is a famous live music venue where many renowned artists like Kermit Ruffins, Troy Andrews and Soul Rebels Brass Band have performed. A jazzy decor with a combination of blue and gold gives the venue a very unique vibe. Enjoy the drinks available while tapping your feet to the beats of the music playing in the club by DJ's. The two-story club also rents out the party room for special occasions. A must visit in New Orleans if you want to catch some great live performances.

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro as its name suggest is a cozy restaurant in the city that offers patrons some splendid jazz performances alongwith delicious food. A host of different artistes, each with their individual style entertain the audience who keep coming back for more. The subdued lighting and wooden furnishings make a rustic setting for the world class performances. The food and wine also celebrate the occasion.

Famous Door, dating back to 1934, is Bourbon Street's oldest live music club still in business. The famous door refers to the front door of the bar that many celebrities and musicians have autographed. Inside there is a sunken dance floor situated in front of a glass-brick stage. The atmosphere is dark, loud, neon and raw. The acoustics and lighting system enhances the performances of the live New Orleans soul and blues bands. Later, when the live music ends, the older folks leave and the bar transforms into a dance club for the younger crowd. It is open from 4p onwards Monday to Wednesday, 3p onwards on Thursday till Friday and On Saturday and Sunday it is open from 2p.

Chris Owens Club & Balcony is the den of dancer and singer Chris Owens. This one-woman show, described as 'Beauty in Motion', 'Talented Entertainer', and 'International Singing and Dancing Sensation' by her critics, attracts crowds from in and around New Orleans and keeps them coming back for more. Featuring a fantastic combination of jazz, rock, blues and country-western, Miss Owens' personality and high-energy performances are something to experience. If you are single, young and happen to love life, this is the destination to head for. Miss Owens and her team also perform at casinos, cruises, conventions and corporate meetings.

There are several bars on Bourbon Street that are indistinguishable from one another after several drinks. Razzoo Bar & Patio separates itself from the others with an incredible back courtyard, ample seating and live music that is usually pretty good. The musicians here play with soul, which is a rare thing to hear on Bourbon Street. Drink prices are reasonable and there is a daily three-for-one happy hour.

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