Big Easy Magic

Jackson Square Homies

Recently the hubs and I took the train to @The Big Easy for an anniversary getaway. New Orleans is one of the last cities in America where indigenous culture is still alive and well, and everywhere. They celebrate life. They celebrate great food. And live music is the secret sauce in the city’s DNA.

Music is everywhere. All the time. We’re not talking about the raucous and bawdy Bourbon Street. The musicians who play there are making a living despite the hordes of tourists bent on the pursuit of debauchery.

On almost any street corner in the French Quarter someone is playing music. Trombone. Violin. Brass Band. And, they’re playing with joy! It’s apparent they love to play. Why would someone busk in sweltering 95 degree heat day in, day out? Because NOLA is a city that embraces music, individuality and performance.

And the Band Played On

What kind of music are you in the mood for? In NOLA you have a smorgasbord of musical fare to choose from – street corners, bars, restaurants, parks, clubs and the ever- present festival.

Jazz Brunch @Tableau

Everything is better with music

New Orleanians seems to know this. That’s why restaurants feature live musicians, particularly jazz -in all sorts of configurations. Have you ever heard a brass band play ‘Uptown Funk’? We did. It was THE BEST!

Frenchman’ s Street is a music lover’s paradise full of bars, bands and zydeco. @Snug Harbor is sublime. You won’t find better jazz anywhere in the world. @Bamboulas has bands coming and going non-stop with blues, rock, indie performers. Even the door/security guy is a badass known to jump on stage and school you in fabulous singing.

If you are planning a trip and want to check out just how much music is available check out OFFBEAT magazine for weekly listings. It’s pretty amazing.

Lessons from NOLA

New Orleans is a music town. Note we said music town, not industry town. There is a difference, a HUGE difference. Music towns are those places where musicians can actively make a living playing music because there is a demand for it and it is supported by tourism.

This means that there are enough paying gigs for many musicians to earn a living. In an industry town like Nashville, although there are thousand and thousands of songwriters and musicians living in the city, there are not enough paying gigs to support that population to make a living in music solely by playing. Nashville is an industry town where the business of music is the beacon of attraction for musicians. It’s the songwriting capital of the world – a billion dollar industry fueled by artistry and creativity.

What’s Best for You?

So this is where the rubber meets the road for you if you want to earn a living playing and creating music. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Exactly where is my skill level as a singer or musician?
  • What is my ultimate goal?
  • Do I want to earn a living playing music or just play on the weekends/for fun?
  • Do I fully understand the ways to make money as a full time musician?
  • Do I understand how the industry works?
  • Do I care?
  • Do I see myself as a part of the ‘industry’ or would I be happy just playing music somewhere where I can make good money on a regular basis?

If this sounds overwhelming it is. We can help you learn about these things, sort them out, and make an informed decision about what’s best for you. Check out the course information on our resources page.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation in order to save you time, money, frustration and heartache. Check out our resource page, you might find something helpful to advance your career.