Have You Seen the REAL New Orleans?

Mayfield “second lines” (a traditional New Orleans parade dance move) through the crowded roomJamison Ross on drums at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta HotelIrvin Mayfield, jazz trumpeter and Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans
The piano at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta HotelFree raw oysters are an additional draw at Happy HourLe Bon Temps Roule is as known for its Bloody Marys as for its live music
Early in the evening, jazz pianists sit in for sets in the main bar room, and at 11 p.m. bands set up in the back of the establishmentCajun chef Melissa Martin enjoys a festive cocktailThe Spotted Cat has long been a mainstay of the evolving Frenchmen Street live music scene
A clarinet awaits its call to the bandstandJayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Band prep for a setA member of  the Sazerac Sunrise Band warms up on his clarinet
The Three Muses sits right in the middle of all the action on Frenchmen StreetToday’s Riff drink special of the dayToday’s Riff, ready to drink
Chef Dan Esses’s celebrated Herb de Provence Roasted Duck and House Rigatoni The bar and tables fill up as the Andrew Duhon Trio sets up to start its setThe nondescript corner building that houses Bullet’s
Locals and visitors converge on Bullet’s for soul food and brass music on Tuesday nightsA bartender pauses to enjoy the live musicCharbroiled oysters are just one of many traditional New Orleans favorites to chose from
The bar at Bullet’s Sports Bar in New Orleans’s 7th WardPianist Leslie Martin warms up before a set
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Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel  (300 Bourbon St., irvinmayfield.com) is where you can hear Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Jamison Ross on drums at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Irvin Mayfield, jazz trumpeter and Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans, pauses while the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra takes the tune.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

The piano at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Le Bon Temps Roule (4801 Magazine St.,  504/895-8117) is the place to hear up-and-coming bands and nab reasonably priced beer and elaborately garnished bloody marys.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Le Bon Temps Roule is as known for its bloody marys as for its live music.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Early in the evening, jazz pianists sit in for sets in the main bar room at Le Bon Temps Roule, and at 11 p.m. bands set up in the back of the establishment.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Cajun chef Melissa Martin enjoys a festive cocktail at Le Bon Temps Roule.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

The Spotted Cat (623 Frenchman St., spottedcatmusicclub.com) is one of the most popular spots to hear jazz and blues.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

A clarinet awaits its call to the bandstand at The Spotted Cat.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Band prep for a set at The Spotted Cat.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

A member of  the Sazerac Sunrise Band warms up on his clarinet at The Spotted Cat.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

The Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St., thethreemuses.com) features an enticing mix of rising musicians, plus delicious short ribs, jerk duck, and other specialities.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

"Today's Riff" drink special of the day (a nod to the film noir classic Chinatown) at The Three Muses.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Bottoms up! Here's "Today's Riff," ready for a sip at The Three Muses.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Chef Dan Esses's celebrated Herb de Provence Roasted Duck and House Rigatoni at The Three Muses.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

The bar and tables fill up as the Andrew Duhon Trio sets up to start its set at The Three Muses.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Don't let the humble exterior fool you! Bullet's Sports Bar  (2441 A.P. Tureaud Ave., 504/669-4464) has been featured in the HBO series Treme and you should catch live R&B, jazz, and blues here, not to mention charbroiled oysters and other traditional favorites.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Locals and visitors converge on Bullet's for soul food and brass music on Tuesday nights.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

A bartender pauses to enjoy the live music at Bullet's.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Charbroiled oysters are just one of many traditional New Orleans favorites to chose from at Bullet's.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

The bar at Bullet's.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Fritzel's European Jazz Pub (733 Bourbon St., fritzelsjazz.net) offers first-rate traditional jazz and more in an 1831 building. Here, Pianist Leslie Martin warms up before a set.

Photograph by Rush Jagoe

Whether you're headed to Mardi Gras or just planning your next great escape, we've rounded up the nightspots where New Orleans's in-the-know locals and regulars flock for authentic seafood, soul food, signature cocktails, and the Crescent City's hottest live music.

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