I LOVE jazz. Old jazz. No matter what mood I am in, jazz puts a smile on my face. My toes can’t help but to tap and my body just wants to dance, dance, dance. While in New Orleans, my traveling companions suggested going to Preservation Hall. I was rather elated about the notion and struggled to wait patiently for the treat.
Preservation Hall considers itself to be an important member of the Traditional New Orleans Jazz culture. The hall is located on Saint Peters Street, just off of the touristy section of Bourbon Street. If you want to go to a show, you will have to buy tickets at the door. We were not able to buy tickets in advance. Purchases are on a first come, first served basis. When we were there, it was cash only. So be sure to have cash in hand before you get in line. We arrived 45 minutes before the show started to ensure our spot. While waiting in line, servers from the neighboring establishment took our orders. Kind of convenient.
The hall is pretty run down looking, that’s probably the “preservation” part of it. It certainly has its own character and adds to the experience. If you pay extra you get to sit down near the front on some wooden benches. Otherwise, you get to stand, packed in the back. Don’t worry, the concert isn’t very long. If you are like me, you would rather stand and move a little to the music. Though there isn’t enough room for dancing of any kind.
The musicians at Preservation Hall are exceedingly talented, as many musicians that I heard in New Orleans are. The show was vibrant and engaging. I am glad to give my money (via admission) to a piece of history. However, New Orleans is FULL of exceptional and FREE music. While I am grateful that I attended a Traditional New Orleans Jazz show at Preservation Hall (https://www.preservationhall.com), I would not go a second time.
If you love jazz, go to Frenchmen Street. Begin at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Frenchmen Street then head north on Frenchmen Street. The music just pours onto the sidewalk. It is heavenly.
If you are looking for a place to dance, go to The Dragon’s Den (http://dragonsdennola.com). It is located on Esplanade Avenue, just southeast of Frenchmen Street. Check out their online calendar for details. I happened to be there for the Monday Night Swing Dance, which was exceptional. The band was perfect. The dancers were welcoming and talented. I will write more about The Dragon’s Den in the near future.