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French Quarter Festival in New Orleans is one of the best FREE music festivals in the world.

Updated on November 13, 2016

Every April, New Orleans hosts a free four day music festival spread throughout the French Quarters showcasing the talents of the national and local musicians. It is called the French Quarter Festival and as someone who attends every year, I highly recommend that you check this one out. It’s FUN and always a GREAT time!

The Festival always runs the first week or 2 in April, just before the famed New Orleans Jazz Fest. Check the official New Orleans French Quarter website for the exact dates each year and complete information and schedules.

This coming year the Festival will be held April 6-9, 2017 in the New Orleans French Quarters.

New Orleans is noted for its music and food and this festival will not disappoint the most die hard music fan and food connoisseur

The festival parade
The festival parade

Both national and local musicians offer music genres of Cajun, Zydeco, blues, rock, and traditional New Orleans jazz just to name a few. And let me tell you, they are all talented and exceptional musicians .

One of my very favorite groups is a band called “Bonerama”. It is unbelievable what a bunch of guys can do on trombones. Yes I said trombones! You will be "blown" away by Edgar Winters’ “Frankenstein” played on five trombones. Their sound will have you clapping, jumping and dancing. I just want to make sure that you understand that I said trombones. For all you marching band trombone players, you got to check this out.

Traditional New Orleans jazz is also abundant throughout the many festival stages. If you are a music lover, I can guarantee you will fall in love with this Festival.

If the blues are your thing, you’ll enjoy Kipori Woods, Joe Krown, and Jon Cleary. These artists are soulful and produce crying emotions that only good blues can convey. Jon Cleary has played with many national artists (including Bonnie Raitt many tours), and is one of the most 'funkiest' players you will ever hear. His band is so tight it will blow you away.

But nothing gets your hips swinging and your feet stomping like good old Cajun and Zydeco music. I guarantee that you’ll run out and buy a washboard. And there’s plenty to listen to.

Even for the most inexperienced dancer, this sound will get you moving and grooving. And it is so much fun to watch the local residents show off their dancing skills. Any local will tell you, “If you can walk, then you can dance to Cajun and Zydeco music”.

Traditional New Orleans Jazz has its own unique sound and you will not hear better sax, trumpets, clarinet, and trombone players. I compare brass players to the brass musicians that I listen to at this festival and very few make the grade. New Orleans brass players produce such a clean, pure sound. None of that “scratch on the blackboard” screech. You know what I’m talking about.

It is relaxing to listen to Tim Laughlin on clarinet, another favorite of mine.

Just bring the folding chair and park yourself. And I do recommend bringing folding chairs to every venue that you plan to attend.

There are over a hundred local artists participating in this festival so there’s plenty to listen to and enjoy. I guarantee that you will be amazed by the talent.

The food is unbelievable and very reasonably priced. Local restaurants set up booths throughout the festival grounds and you can purchase samples of their specialties.

So indulge in gumbo, crawfish, catfish, jambalaya, shrimp po boys, beignets, and yummy bread puddings. Shall I mention more?

Dance with the locals. It's FUN!
Dance with the locals. It's FUN!

But what makes this my all-time favorite festival is that I get to enjoy the music with the locals from New Orleans. They are the most outgoing, fun, and friendliness people in the United States. And they know how to have a good time.

If your idea of a music festival is to mingle with the local culture, enjoy their cuisine, and get to know the character of a city, then French Quarter Fest will not disappoint you.

For information GOOGLE the French Quarter Festival website.

Click here to see another travel idea link.

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