Our New Orleans performance tour is more popular than ever. Why? The birthplace of jazz has a rich cultural history, beautiful outdoor performance spaces and plenty of live music. Tour Consultant and former band director John A. shares need-to-know information about student travel to New Orleans.
In general, why is New Orleans a great destination for performance groups?
Jazz is such a large part of American music culture; this truly American art form developed amongst New Orleans’ unique blend of cultures. New Orleans’ had French culture, slave culture and American Indian culture, all combining with one another.
I also think New Orleans is fascinating for students because it’s so different than anywhere else in the United States. One of my Group Leaders once said, “visiting New Orleans is like going to a foreign country without a passport.”
What is a top performance attraction?
Preservation Hall should be on all jazz players bucket lists. It’s very typical of New Orleans venues in that it creates an intimate environment. This allows for a sort of dialogue between the players and the audience.
What is a top place to perform?
With its great climate, groups can perform in New Orleans’ outdoor spaces all year long. There are plenty of places, but the outdoor space in front of the National WWII museum is unforgettable. Groups can play in front of a backdrop of WWII military vehicles.
No New Orleans performance tour is complete without live music. What are some of your favorite ways to hear it?
There are so many choices; students can catch a traveling Broadway show or listen to a private show by the Preservation Hall Group. And New Orleans has some of the best opportunities to hear talented street musicians. In some of the more popular tourist areas, groups can wander around and see all kinds of musicians and artists — you never know what you’re going to get on a given day.
What makes New Orleans clinics so special?
Students can participate in clinics with professionals from the city’s world-class universities. All of these universities are particularly in tune with the local jazz cultures.