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Preservation Hall

Arts & Entertainment, Jazz & Blues, Entertainment

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Rate & Reviews

How would you rate Preservation Hall?
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707 Reviews

707 Reviews

Ashwin M

2/2/2015

Good music, but the wait is too long if you don't buy the VIP tickets. the band also only gets through about 5 songs in the 45 mins they play. Good value for $15 at the door.

n g

2/2/2015

If you are looking for an authentic jazz experience in a friendly atmosphere and the true feel of New Orleans this is the place for you! Don't miss!

Carol H

2/2/2015

A not-to-miss experience, whether Jazz is your favorite music genre or not. But be sure to get your tickets in advance. We were lucky to get in, after waiting in line for a long time! But we had "standing room only" - I really prefer a seat! Next time.

Jeremy C

2/2/2015

Loved it. Very unique experience. Worth waiting in line at 7 for the 8 show. Talented, lively musicians who were very passionate about their music. Only drawback was the length of the show at 45 minutes.

Jeremy I

2/2/2015

a very unique experience, well worth the 2 hours we stood outside

Hanae K

3/30/2015

Very memorable. Best to show up at least 1-1.5hours in advance to get in with good seats(limited)...unless you pay extra for VIP.

We went on a busy night and waited for over an hour. Unfortunately it was too full for the show we waited for but managed to get into the next one. Even then we were one of the last group to snag a seat. The rest had to stand.

Very intimate inside. No alcohol. This is a must-see place if you are visiting.

Philippe R

3/30/2015

A thoroughly enjoyable musical experience, changed my perception of jazz music for the better. 10/10 would recommend going to one of these energizing concerts

Sasch M

11/30/2015

The Mecca of Jazz...

I lined up for almost two hours, but it was worth every second. If you're even remotely into Jazz, this venue deserves every single star it gets.

Just do it...

Pro-Tip: If you're willing to pay a "little" extra ($35 per ticket instead of $15), you can book in advance to save yourself having to stand in line for two hours. Note that advance tickets are restricted, and are normally sold out for 4 - 5 days in advance. Bookable online, apparently...

Geno N

11/30/2015

Ditto to every other reviews you'll find. Check this place off your French Quarter to do list.I will concur with others however, that since the place was really small and lines can be very long, cough up the extra for a seat!! You get in first AND you get to sit on a bench! Personally, standing for 50 minutes doesn't quite appeal to me. We didn't regret doing it and I think it just made our experience that much more enjoyable.

Our band was great, and hopefully yours will too.

kevin w

11/30/2015

Overated. The older gentlemen who plays the horn has a hard time and should retire. He insults people and mad dogs them until you put at least a 5 dollar bill in his jar.

Ardy D

11/30/2015

Great music, great history, and much cheaper and more accessible than other music venues.

Jeremy k

11/30/2015

Simply awesome. Small and intimate, friendly, fantastic musicians. Just go there.

That is all

Ben E

2/4/2016

These folks are absolutely unreal. They are obviously having fun, and easily get the audience in a great mood. It's a must visit for anyone remotely interested in jazz.

Sergio B

3/15/2016

It's legendary for a reason. There may be better acts elsewhere in nola on any given night, but here you're guaranteed a world class show every single time.

Maxwell E

4/17/2016

Incredible music, incredible experience. If you don't get there early or buy VIP tickets you will have a long wait, and you will have to stand for the show. It is cash only and they ask for exact change, but you can swing by Pat O'Brien's and they have an ATM or they will break a bill when you buy a drink

Michael C

4/17/2016

I had a friend tell me to check out this out while on a trip to New Orleans. It did not disappoint! The line is long and the space is intimate so get there early. If you are want to get a flavor of the city's musical history then Preservation Hall is the place to go!

quinn t

4/17/2016

We were there on Saturday night(04/02). Stood in line 45 minutes. Plenty of people watching to burn the time. The space is tiny, the music is grand. Everyone in the room was mesmerized by the all star's. I will never forget that night.

Jay K

5/22/2016

If you want the quintessential Jazz experience in NOLA, come here. I have been twice and have been blown away everytime. The building looks like a rundown fire hazard, but it houses a small, intimate live jazz setting. There are only a few seats so you're likely to sit on the floor, but you do so right in front of the band. Tickets are cheap, but you do have to line up.

Thomas D

5/22/2016

Show up 45 minutes early. Worth the wait. The best music (classic new orleans jazz) you'll hear and that's saying something. Very intimate setting.

Darryl M

5/22/2016

My favourite experience during our last trip! Tiny space with wooden benches and people sitting on the floor. One of the musicians used to play with Ray Charles and they passed around the hat at the end for the band. About as authentic an experience as you can have in New Orleans!

Adam C

6/22/2016

A must do when in NOLA! This intimate little room is the best place to see a live jazz performance. It's small, old and just oozes history. Lineups can be long so it's worth ordering "Big Shot" tickets in advance; they guarantee a seat and no wait for the show.

Performances last about an hour which is the perfect length and the musicians are close enough to touch. Preservation Hall does not serve drinks so make sure you bring one with you.

Daniel G

6/22/2016

This is not a jazz bar. It is small auditorium. Small and intimate, but also crowded and not very comfortable. No drinks or food in this place, but you can bring your own. You get in only for the music, which was very good. I would highly recommend it to music lovers. They admit something like 50 people at the time, for a 45 to 50 min set of classic jazz. You seat in a wooden bench or even on the floor, but the music was well worth it.

jbsmoky P

6/22/2016

I used to go to New Orleans, for a week or two, every year from 1994 to 2004; 2 to 3 weeks BEFORE Mardi Gras. That is the perfect time. It is crowded but not too crowded. The weather is cool and usually dry. With a little planning you can get into almost any club or restaurant. This is true with Preservation Hall. I have never seen long lines outside at that time of year, except an occasional Saturday night. You don't mind being crowded inside the small shack-like venue because it is usually cool outside. Be prepared to sit on the floor or stand. I am surprised to hear that they are charging to get in. I never paid, although I always made a voluntary donation and bought albums or tee shirts (I am wearing a Preservation Hall tee shirt now.). Great show. Don't miss it. Just go at the right times (i.e. a week or two before Mardi Gras on a weekday night).

Corina C

6/22/2016

This is a tourist trap. The band is solid, but the rest of the experience is basically the equivalent of a vampire tour. Or imagine the Tiki Room at Disneyland but with a real band instead of animatronics. We paid extra for reserved seats ahead of time, and it wasn't really worth it. The set is not so long that you need to sit down. The band started about 6:20 and was done before 7. Five, maybe six songs... and old tradjazz so not that long. Forty bucks per person for that? On top of that, with how many people they shoehorn into the hall, the temperature was unbearable. I thought some people around me were going to pass out. I'm acclimated to the weather here and it was uncomfortable for me. I can't imagine what it felt like to people not used to the heat and humidity. In addition, despite many reminders to turn off phones from the band, people kept recording and taking pictures, which caused more verbal warnings from the band, which really took away from the entire experience. No bar inside; bottled water sold. My recommendation: Avoid this show and find a less famous venue to see some traditional jazz.

Diana P

10/30/2016

Incredible venue with very talented musicians. I highly recommend picking up tickets beforehand, which gets you a seat and you don't have to wait in any long lines. Also, they don't have a restroom or bar, you've been warned.

Allen B

10/30/2016

Awesome! Visited with family members that came all the way from Philly. Everything my folks said it would be. Wonderful experience, listening to all that jazz. Our favorite place we visited!

DeadAudio B

10/30/2016

A must do for music lovers in New Orleans. It's great to just sit on the floor legs crossed and listen to classics like "Saints Go Marching In". No alcohol served inside or allowed, but don't worry you'll have a strong buzz going by the time you catch one of these evening shows.

Alexander H

10/30/2016

This place has a really cool vibe, and the band is amazing. You need to line up outside early. You won't regret spending the evening here.

Virat M

12/1/2016

Fantastic traditional Jazz! If you are interested in this genre of music then it is a must visit. No food or drinks but they allow you to bring your own. $15 entry fee which I thought was a little high for a 45 minute set.

Milind

12/1/2016

First time I have listened to Jazz with the musicians sitting so close. It felt and indeed was a personal music presentation. The room is small and holds about 75 people. No air conditioning. A couple of benches with no back support. I think the first 20 or so people get seating. Every one else stands. I have no great knowledge of Jazz. But it sounded wonderful. More discerning folks will no doubt have better reviews.

Yu Y

12/1/2016

Jazz was perfect...worth every minutes you wait outside. Everyone in the band are all with great skill and characteristics, Wonderful atmosphere in this shabby little room.

Joanne D

12/1/2016

This place is a must-see in New Orleans. They don't serve drinks but you can bring your own for some of the best traditional music in the city. Note that they don't have air conditioning. I have been there several times and it's always like a trip back in time.

David T

1/5/2017

Accidentally got in line thinking it was for somewhere else, but I'm glad that it turned out to be for this. Such an amazing live performance and the price was spot on. We ended up standing because we were near the back of the line, but it didn't bother me. Made it easier to tap my feet and grove to the smooth jazz. I would definitely recommend going.

Johnny R

1/5/2017

What an awesome experience. Got to enjoy it with my son who is a trumpet player and music education major. Just to be able to stand in a place with so much history was overwhelming. Very blessed to have been a part of it. Can mark one thing off of my bucket list. Well worth the $20 cover. Will most definitely be back again!

Rachel B

1/5/2017

Great music. Worth the wait in line. General admission tickets are $20. Those are the front of the line will have their pick of wooden benches or cushions on the floor. If you are at the back of the line, it will be standing room only. They do not have a bar, but allow you to bring in drinks from other bars.

Scott M

1/5/2017

Incredible living history through one of a kind music. Worth the wait!

Blazej S

2/9/2017

This one of the places I would want to visit over and over. There are some thinks worth every money. The character of the place almost brings you back to times of the famous jazz musician from the old times. The band has a great connection with the public and once they start playing you wish they would never stop. The most of the money goes for good cause of preservation the historic jazz influence which is great.

I just wish for little upgrades. Up to time seating places and the restroom.

Definitely worth being there not only once.

JFK H

2/9/2017

You like classic live jazz music? That's a place to go. I think their price is $20. I recommend you to come at least 30 mins before the show to get the best place to seat. Don't even try to take a picture or a video. People are very sensitive and will stop playing right away. They want to keep it very personal and don't like playing and seeing a bunch of people with their phones. If you seat too close make sure you are OK with loud jazz music, because you will be there for almost an hour. I thought I will lose my hearing, but I can still hear something. What did you say?

Chris L

2/9/2017

A must see while in New Orleans. Expect to wait to get in or buy tickets well in advance. We waited over an hour and had to stand in the very back.. TOTALLY worth it! The quality of the music is phenomenal and something about the acoustics there are unbelievable.

hong c

3/9/2017

Unique Jazz experience. Musicians were expressive and spontaneous. The venue definitely had its theme going on right. We didn't have to wait in line at all, but didn't get a great seat.

Ethan S

4/9/2017

Amazing music! Wonderful concept, glad that it's in New Orleans! The band we saw was amazing! The place is small and very old school but that's what gives it charm. We sat on cushions right in the front row and were less then a foot or two away from the band! Amazing. The place is can be cramped and we started waiting at 6:15 for an 8pm show (the lines get very long). Watch the wall outside, there's staples in the wood, some of witch have broken and are sharp. It can be a real "pain" if you get fatigued and lean against the wall. No washrooms, but you can bring your own drinks. :) Very unique experience!

Christopher J

4/9/2017

Absolutely loved this place! Great intimate setting in a rustic club with top-notch band. I wish the show had been a little longer; this was definitely a highlight of my New Orleans trip.

Cristina H

5/9/2017

Wonderful musical experience.

It's a very cozy "auditorium" with benches for those who reserved online and standing area in the back and cushions on the floor up front for everyone else.

Musically wise it was wonderful! The show was about 45 minutes long, we got about 5-6 songs.

Things to note: there's no A/C and no bathroom. No photos or recordings are allowed.

You can buy a drink and go to the toilet before the show in the adjacent bar.

Reservations highly recommended.

Chad V

5/9/2017

Four years growing up I have heard about this place and always wanted to visit. I finally got my chance this past March and it was amazing! The atmosphere and the liveliness of the band made for the most enjoyable time.

Todd A

5/9/2017

Nothing to see during the day and no one is playing. Would have liked to been able to see around. Read some info, have a reason to give them money. Couldn't see any reason to. Wish I would have seen someone play, I'm sure my rating would be higher

rishita c

7/12/2017

Awesome place. Great bands. Genuine music and a true effort in preservation if the local culture as the name suggests. The pic really shows the great passion with which the musicians play... is really a must visit. And after you pay for over show the subsequent ones are free... You can just hang around for the great music... Note: queue up atleast 30min before to get a spot and get your own drinks... No good or drinks are sold inside. A perfect shrine for jazz in the jazz capital of the world...

Panagiotis T

7/12/2017

The place to see Jazz. Lots of roots and culture. Small, intimate venue that is worth the experience. Don't plan on pictures or videos, as they are not allowed, but worth the visual and auditory stimulation to take it all in with the All stars house band. These guys can put on a show.

Linsey R

7/12/2017

Great music experience! Line up early if you want to get in and buy VIP tickets in advance if you want to ensure you have a seat! We were there an hour early and ended up standing in the back.

Joseph M

8/15/2017

One of my favorite experiences in New Orleans! Skip the line and preorder the "Big Shot" tickets. It's a little more but well worth the time saved and it gives you guaranteed seating.

The band was excellent and really engaged with the crowd.

FYI, no bathroom and no air conditioning. They did allow us to bring outside drinks into the facility which helped.

Tanisha S

8/15/2017

Everything about NOLA was amazing, but this space right here brought everything together! These musicians gave it all they had. if you're looking for an authentic experience that showcases the traditional and contemporary talents that make up NOLA jazz expression, this is the place for you. There is a set every night!

Linda W

8/15/2017

Thank you for making my daughter's 3rd trip to Preservation Hall the best. She is in her High School band and all she talks about is coming back to hear you play. The Staff made sure she got the other 4 members signatures during break that she missed. Thank you again for making her night and being so kind!

Erica C

8/15/2017

If you have any appreciation for old jazz- those who began and those who keep it going, you must visit. I recommend getting in line 45 min. before the show to get a good seat. Incredible musicianship.

Golan W

9/21/2017

This was by far the best experience i had in New Orleans! The music, atmosphere, and people were great! Same style since the 1960s when they started! 19/10 would recommend. I payed $20 for an hour, but was worth $100 at least

Brian M

9/21/2017

Visiting Preservation Hall is like stepping back a century, and that's a compliment. This is a place that honors New Orleans and its role as the birthplace of jazz. It feels like a hallowed hall of the music and its musicians. And it's just good fun. Don't miss this place!

Angus K

9/21/2017

Great exhibition. Top quality players in a fantastic venue. My only issue is that it feels a bit touristy and too structured for what I am told to be hallowed ground for the jazz.

Doug W

10/22/2017

Great venue with a close, personal experience for those who attend the shows. The laid back atmosphere is exemplified by the first two rows of seating which is made up of cushions placed on the floor directly in front of the artists. The shows last about an hour and are worth every penny. Stand in line at the door and pay $15 or order tix online for $40-$50. Preservation Hall is conveniently located next to Pat O'Brien's.

Keith S

10/22/2017

everything is designed to place focus on the performance itself and the artist are on point. Bring a drink because nothing is served, but that keeps this more a theatre in tone than another bar with background music. this personifies the state of New Orleans jazz and was totally worth $15 for yu 45 minute set.

Alex L

11/23/2017

A great experience for sure. I'm not a huge jazz fan but I do appreciate it. The show is definitely unique and will give even the non-music lover something to appreciate in the show. Get advance tickets though - it's worth the better seats.

John T

11/23/2017

Ready to experience jazz like it was yesteryear? Think of a smoky jazz hall, without the smoke. Yes, it is a smallish room; more like 25-30' x 35-40'. A very personal experience. Three rows of open seating on cushions up front at the feet of the musicians; two rows of reserve seating on benches; two rows of open bench seating (each row, two sets of benches, seating 8-10 each row) and standing room only for the rest. Reserve seats run $35-50 and general admission is $15. Show up 45-60 minutes early, if you want a seat.

Unamplified jazz is played for approximately 45 minutes. The audience can request songs. . . . if they want to give a little something to Philip the Hat up front - $5 for traditional songs, $10 for 'other' and $20 for 'The Saints'. They did pass on playing a few requests, saying they were not traditional jazz.

We'll with going!

Dn N

11/23/2017

Great live jazz! Very cozy and intimate space. Get there early if you want to snag a seat (or pay for the VIP reserved tickets). Otherwise you will have to stand.

Silvia S

11/23/2017

Must-do in NOLA! Came here because saw the Preservation Hall Jazz band play with Arcade Fire a couple of times and loved them. Seems to be a very authentic jazz experience. They don’t allow photos or filming, so the crowd is usually very into the music and connected with the musicians. Arrive early to avoid long lines, buy tickets in advance online to cut the lines.

Stefanie Z

11/23/2017

This was a really neat experience. The musicians were so talented and really brought me back to the 60's. You have to go to a show to truly experience the jazz in Nola!

divya p

12/25/2017

Buy the tickets in advance if you want to guarantee a seat. Otherwise, take a chance in line, but know you have to get there 1-1.5 hours ahead and you may be standing.

It's a small space to begin with. But it's so worth the $40 / ticket. To see the bands live, it's priceless. Hubby and I had a blast!

Douglas S

12/25/2017

We saw a really good 6 man jazz band that played nothing bu holiday music (we were there in December). Okay by me but my companions wanted some other music. The environment was rustic if not bare bones.

Mae S

12/25/2017

Preservation Hall is a magical musical place. I felt like I was transported back in time as the Jazz music flow through the venue. They are opened nightly at 6pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. Ticket price varies and costs about twice as much online. The show I attended was during a week night and online pricing about about $35. However, you do get a served spot on the bench. I waited inline for half an hour and bought ticket the door for $15. It's standing room only, but that's great since it's easier to dance.

The venue is much smaller than anticipated with 3 rows or bench seating and the rest is standing room. You can bring in outside beverages since they do not serve alcohol. There is no restroom, but you can use the ones at Pat O'Brien's next door. You won't want to leave for the hours or so of music that you'll experience here, so make sure you go before the show. The music was amazing. It was raw and pure and intimate.

Amber S

1/25/2018

Amazing jazz experience right off of Bourbon Street. This is THE place to hear jazz in New Orleans! Traditional NOLA jazz by amazing musicians.

Show times listed are the time they open the door, so don't anticipate they will open early. Ex: show is listed at 8 pm, they actually open doors at 8 and show starts at 8:15.

Get there early to get a seat. I lined up one night (New Year's Day, a Monday) at about 7:15 for the 8 show, and they ran out of seats just before I got in. Most of the seats are reserved, which you can pay for in advance, but it's more than twice the price than it is at the door. There are some cushioned spots up front if you're comfortable sitting (not great if you have long legs!).

Shaun A

1/25/2018

Over all a good experience. However, the concert was not as good a everyone talks about. The musicians were great but the song choices didn't wow me. Also someone will walk down the line 15 minutes before the show and talk about the rules and entry but they won't tell you if you are far enough back that you might not make it in. This would be a simple thing they could offer so that you could make a decision to stay or go because if you're there for the 6 o clock showing you would be waiting 2 hours for the next show.

Robert M

1/25/2018

You must experience this, plain and simple. Room is quite small so seating doesn't really matter, although we (mid 50's) are glad we paid the extra to have bench seating. The minute you walk in, you'll feel just how special this place is. Trumpet player was off the charts good, and we were delighted by the presence of the elder statesman on tenor sax. It's NOT a tourist trap.

Mike B

2/25/2018

A must-see for any New Orleans visitor. The venue is an intimate setting, albeit a bit run down. We went early and waited in line an hour for our show, and were seated on the floor right at the front. FYI, the best seats go to those who purchase pre-paid tickets; others end up toward the back, on the floor, or standing. However, the small size of the room maintains a great experience for all. Despite my leg going numb from sitting cross-legged on the floor, it was worth every penny and minute spent there.

Willem K

2/25/2018

We had to wait for 2 hours before we got in for the 45 minute show. Even then, we had to stand as all seats had already been taken up. The show was totally fantastic, it felt like I was sucked back a few decades when they started playing. The All Star team is clearly highly talented and used to entertaining good crowds. What a blast!

Valerie D

2/25/2018

I really love it here. The music is always fantastic. However, it's a dump. No joke, be prepared. You can buy tickets ahead of time and reserve a seat, otherwise it's standing room only. There is a cat! It's not that friendly though.

Damien B

2/25/2018

The experience was a bit disappointing. The show is only 45 minutes and the players made 100% sure not to go a second longer than scheduled. The band leader of the evening - Louis Ford - seemed bored by the whole affair but the other members of the band were a bit more into it.

It was nice to see some traditional jazz in New Orleans, though. Bring an interesting traditional jazz request and the $5 to pay for it to spice things up, perhaps.

Kathy D

3/26/2018

A must see if you are a visitor. Very small place so you sit close to the band. Show is entertaining and musicians are top notch. Great great music!!! If you don't want to wait in line you can purchase tickets in advance to guarantee you will get in. Place is old but that gives it its charm.

Charley C

4/26/2018

An absolute must do when in New Orleans is to hear jazz at preservation hall. First Get your tickets early - days or weeks early to get a seat, lest you will be standing for the performance. - And yes it is worth it even if you have to stand. This place is the ultimate classic historical jazz venue in new Orleans. Be sure to be ready with your requests and a 20 to drop in the hat to bring your request to the top of the list. These musicians are as good as it gets, and are the classic representation of jazz in New Orleans for over 50 years. You will be squeezed in to a room, shoulder to shoulder, it may get warm, the chairs (benches) are at a premium.

It's definitely worth it. I wanted to go again immediately

beth j

4/26/2018

Really nothing special. We decided to go based on recommendations and the reviews. The place is small affording good acoustics. Musicians were good, but not extraordinary. The constant reminders of paying extra for song requests left a bad taste. We heard equally good music outdoors on Bourbon and Royal St and from college students at Washington Square Park in NYC.

Would we do it again? No. We would however spend more time appreciating the outdoor musicians without having to wait 1 hour or pay the $20 fee.

Alexandros P

4/26/2018

Good music. Lots of fun. Have seen waaaay better shows than this. They were clearly bored and insisting on people's requests. While we were waiting for someone to come up with an idea... the constant joke was sweeping out the sweat with cash from their foreheads. One hour of music for $40-50 is the perfect idea to trick tourists ... Unfortunately I fell for this! With a bit more search you can totally find better and cheaper places. Just skip this one!

George S

4/26/2018

Glad we went. It's a tiny venue so it feels intimate. SRO is a little uncomfortable if you're short so get there early or pay for seats online. It's also a short set at 45 minutes. Somehow they pull it off and make it a happy and relaxed experience listening to classic jazz. Fun time!

FROOT D

5/27/2018

If u are a jazz enthusiast as i am this is a MUST DO when in New Orleans. Located near French Quarter in a buildimg OVER 200 yrs old, you are privy to some wonderful stories told by the musicians of how this hall came about and its connection to the rich culture of New Orleans jazz and an ADDED BONUS is the music performed during the presentation...Shout out to Calvin Johnson the soprano saxophonist and the entire band. This was a beautiful experience and i will definitely do again when i return!!

Scott M

5/27/2018

Loved the ambience of this place. Packed standing room only small room. The all stars were fantastic and very entertaining. If you want a taste of New Orleans jazz, this is well worth a visit. This was the highlight of my trip to NOLA and well worth the 45 minute wait in line.

jacob s

5/27/2018

Such a great show! We were sitting front row center right between the clarinet and trumpet and it was amazing. It legs feel asleep real quick sitting on the floor but the music made it more than worth it

Renee K

6/27/2018

Don’t waste your time or money! Extremely poor quality music, not entertaining or lively, and definitely not worth the wait in a long line and being charged (a non-refundable) $20/person.

We went with a group of friends/family upon some high recommendations online on several tourist/local guide sites. We were excited, as we were really looking for some authentic/traditional New Orleans music and the appeal of seeing a show in such an old building definitely sounded like we’d get a taste of what The Quarter is about. Such a historical building, and the beauty of the history is absolutely demolished by the atrocious performance we witnessed.

After waiting in line outside for nearly an hour to go in, we walk in to a very dimly lit, oven of a room with a small stage area and minimal wood plank bench seating. Mostly standing room only space, we get crammed in like sardines to a room that isn’t ventilated and has a large floor fan blowing hot air around for the only relief from the summer heat. Sweltering, we wait for the show to begin, being strictly instructed that no photos or videos can be taken of the performance. Seemed like an odd request, been to many concerts and musical shows and the request is generally no flash photography, not absolutely no photos of the show. But okay, we think it must be a really great show for it to be so limited and in such a hot box with such a long wait...

The lights go out so the show can start, and the band, if you could call them that, grab their instruments and begin to play. I honestly wish I had something good to say about them, but there was nothing remotely good. I’ve seen junior high bands that sounded better and more cohesive than the “group” we witnessed. The lackluster performance was only enhanced by the complete lack of energy and enthusiasm that all the players had. Not a single performer looked like they wanted to be there, and the music reflected that. The sound wasn’t bright, cheery, energetic, swanky or anything remotely pleasant.

It was the absolutely most depressing music I’ve ever heard. The guy playing the snare drum stared absentmindedly at a wall, tapping his drumstick on the snare almost as if he was annoyed at being there. The trombone player sounded as if he’d never even played a trombone before! He basically just kept sliding the outer slide tube back and forth, with no real direction or melody of any sort. He rarely ever stopped the tube at a set point, and it honestly sounded like someone who just picked the instrument up and was trying to play for the first time ever. I could pick apart every single player that was there but it’s all the same. Everything was off-beat, out of tune and sounded like the group had never played together before that night and they all acted like they didn’t care and didn’t want to be there. If someone told me they grabbed random people off the street and put them in front of an instrument to play as a group, I’d truly believe it.

After leaving the show and perusing The Quarter, we saw several street performers/groups that had the enthusiasm, energy, and talent we were expecting. We even found another venue that had an actual band that played at the level expected of a professional show.

How this place has great and even average reviews is completely beyond me. Even the people in our group that know absolutely nothing about music felt the same way I do.

Thomas K

6/27/2018

Such a blissful 45 minutes of jazz. I highly recommend buying the tickets in advance on the website to get a front row seat on the bench. We enjoyed the first night so much we bought tickets for the next night as well. The two shows we're so different but both at the same exceptional level you'd expect. Don't leave NOLA without a visit to Preservation Hall. My #1 recommended stop in New Orleans.

Benjamin W

6/27/2018

The Jazz I've ever heard in my life! A real intimate experience with true legends. $20 entry for an hour set. No bar or loo but you can bring in your own alcohol or drinks. They ask no photos during the performance but it is well worth it for the distraction free atmosphere. An ABSOLUTE must see when in NOLA. Real professionals having a great time

Ryan E

6/27/2018

Pretty cool place to get a feel for some traditional New Orleans music. Very small and intimate place. Things to know: Cash only, no bathrooms, no drinks for sale, and it gets hot (no A/C). Would go again.

Matt M

7/28/2018

A Preservation Hall show is a must see when in New Orleans. Each time has been worth the 30 to 60 minute wait. The 45 minute show is just enough New Orleans Jazz to tide you over. The musicians are the cream of the crop and all work so well as a band. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommend, just remember to bring cash, as they do not take credit or debit. There is no bathroom or bar, but Pat O'Brien's next door can accommodate both. You need to get there at least 30 minutes early.

Lydia C

7/28/2018

Classic jazz venue. Excellent music. It's something you must do if you're visiting New Orleans. The show is ~1hr. There is no bar BUT you can bring in alcohol from other places. We stood in line and got in without reservations.

Asher C

8/29/2018

Great music, good jazz, this was a special tribute to Nat King Cole at 1:00pm. If it was for the music alone then : 5 stars.

But..... terrible venue, no seat or air conditioning standing for 90 minutes was ridiculous !! After paying $25!!

And no pictures??

If they showed more respect for the patrons and provided better accommodations with the same quality music 5 stars!

AR C

8/29/2018

This was a fun, joyous 45 minutes. I highly recommend booking seats and taking in one of the shows. It only houses about 100 people. At least two different Preservation Hall bands play each night so check the schedule to see which is playing. Occasionally they have a more expensive midnight show with a nationally known artist - what a great venue to see those exclusive shows!

Jonathan Z

8/29/2018

Wonderful historic place to come listen to raw jazz in its purest form. The band was incredibly talented. The space is quite small and we had a patron that was super drunk - let's just say she crossed the line. The band takes requests for $, although you are limited to a certain amount of time. So if you think you are getting towards the end of your show - you should hold onto the big bucks for later. In all fairness these musicians deserve the money whether they play your song or not!

Samantha M

8/29/2018

Amazing experience. We reserved big shot seats in the second row and ended up sitting right next to the piano. The history and entertainment was so memorable. It was definitely not and humid but that's just NOLA in August. Definitely get a drink and use the bathroom at Pat O'brians next door before the show.

Jason A

9/29/2018

This is purely for the music. It is a historic, no frills venue with bench seating and fans.

Incredibly atmospheric and some of the best quality jazz you'll hear.

Be mindful the cover is fairly pricey at 20 (10 for students) for a show that goes by quickly at a short 1 hour.

You can bring in outside drinks.

May be able to get into the late show for free if ask early as they do have 2 acts a night.

Deron S

9/29/2018

Wanted to hear live Jazz for my 16 yr old and 11-year-old. Where do you take them in NOLA? The answer is Preservation Hall, they are playing jazz and all ages are welcome. This a small venue they do have some bench seating and some chairs around the space. They also have cushions on the floor for seating. The Jazz is very entertaining, and it is a nice show for about 50 min. There are a lot of places you can go here Jazz in the Big Easy but come here if you can.

Robyn M

9/29/2018

If you love music, you will love Preservation Hall. The places isn't much to look at from the outside or inside for that matter. But once they begin playing Jazz, Blues and southern inspired tunes your sold.

Downside: must book in advance in order to get a seat (walk ins have to stand). Photography prohibited (they will kick. you out).

Bree M

9/29/2018

Any soul with a love for jazz knows this is one of the best places in the city. It’s a smaller venue but that’s actually wonderful because the energy and conversation between you and others is what adds to the experience. The entertainment here really never disappoints.

kay a

10/30/2018

This was a really enjoyable evening listening to a good jazz band. There were no frills, just great music! In the session we attended, there was a trombone, trumpet, clarinet, bass, piano and drums. The trumpet player was their leader and he even sang some and we had audience participation. They were all really good! I happened to be there at a time when the audience were all great participants too, so that was a great experience!! They won't let you take pics during the session, but they let you take some before. So there are none with the actual musicians. You can buy reserved seat tickets online (you just get seated first at the session- so you have an up front bench is really all that means) for like at least double what it costs at the door. Or you can get in line before the show (be there to get in line at least half hour prior) and pay at the door. You have to have cash - they don't take cards! It's $20 at the door. They also sell some small stuff in there - t shirts, little trinkets saying Preservation Hall.

J. P

10/30/2018

Well worth money for reservation and seating to avoid line, guarantee sight line, and avoid standing in line, not getting in, and waiting another hour. No rest rooms. Bringing own water or drink encouraged. No AC. It's warm just like it was when it opened. A great hour of music.

jagan s

10/30/2018

Live Jazz music with some of the experienced musicians who's been playing Jazz since mid 1900's. An authentic vintage hall (pretty old and small) and lovely music. Five rows of benches each with a seating capacity of about 8 people and a small raised platform for the remaining to stand. Have to get half an hour early and wait in the line to get the tickets, and still didn't manage to get seated. The performance was very entertaining and it's hard not to dance to the beat.🕺

Martin Y

12/1/2018

Most amazing live jazz venue. As the name states, Preservation Hall preserved the venue and music style resembling that of when the hall first opened in 1961. They let in only about 30 people, tickets can be bought early for reserved seating through their website. For door tickets, come about 40 min early to line up. They do not sell any beverages inside not have any restrooms, this is a place where you strictly listen to music for 45 minutes, but completely worth the wait. Highly recommend checking out when in NOLA.

Catherine T

12/1/2018

Each jazz artist was more talented than the next! Every visitor is close enough to watch the finger work of all the instrumentalists except the drummer. I watched in awe and listened with joy. Go.

Ken D

12/1/2018

This is a "must" when you visit New Orleans. Line up early to get in. You may have to stand if you haven't bought advance tickets. We were lucky and sat on the floor at the front. Every show is different so if you like it and have the time, go back again. The room isn't large so it is a very intimate experience. This was one of the highlights of our trip.

Michelle S

12/31/2018

Buy tickets online ahead of time unless you are comfortable standing for a very long time. The line was over an hour long every time we checked, and it is almost all standing room.once inside too. The venue is surprisingly small. But it has a very cool vibe. And the music was mind blowing. The musicians were extraordinarily talented. It was a great experience. You haven't fully experienced NOLA without a jazz concert. And this is one of the few places you can experience it if you have minors with you. My teenagers enjoyed it too!

David K

12/31/2018

Classic NOLA jazz joint. The concert is always excellent, and even waiting in line is classic French Quarter experience.

Shows at 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. Get in line 45 minutes before the show you want to see if you want a seat on a bench, 30 minutes before the show if you don't mind standing. Pay $20 cash on your way in the door. Be nice to your fellow patrons, the staff and the musicians - life is good in The Big Easy!

Lucas W

12/31/2018

If you need to see some jazz in the Quarter go here. Excellent music. Line forms early but worth it. Highly recommended. Requests are taken if you put $$ in "Phil" the hat. Preserve jazz!!

Lisa H

12/31/2018

Loved the jazz experience. The saxophonist Clive Jackson (hopefully the correct name) was really awesome. The wait was over 2 hours and the inside is not very big. We sat on the floor. But just a beautiful experience.

Erik Y

2/1/2019

Fantastic Jazz show. Well worth the ticket price. Be sure to get tickets in advance or arrive at least 30 min early to get decent seats. The room is small and only holds about 60 people. This place is very popular. We had such a great experience we plan on going a few more times.

Patrick L

2/1/2019

Wow... What can I say... I got to hear Leroy Jones with his band and John Ellis as a special guest as part of a special, closed show on Monday night. The Hall is an intimate setting where the band can, and does, play totally acoustically. The benches are comfortable and there's not a bad seat in the house. I got to sit right at Mr Ellis' elbow and couldn't have been happier. The Hall provided us with great hospitality and they drink selection and appetizers were delicious. I especially liked the shrimp and grits... So creamy.

Then the music... The whole band was great, but hearing Mr Jones and Mr Ellis play around the changes Bourbon Street Parade... Life changing...

Jerry C

2/1/2019

When my wife and I were in New Orleans for a work conference a couple years ago, this was the place I most wanted to experience, and we were not disappointed. Forty minutes of bliss, standing room only, no food or drink--just the pure perfect music you don't even have to know jazz to appreciate. For me it was truly a mystical, religious experience. If you find yourself in NOLA and have to choose, skip Bourbon Street and make your way to 726 St. Peter.

Edward C

2/1/2019

An amazing venue to get the authentic experience and hear some fantastic music. During busy times you will need to queue for an hour before the show you want to attend, but plenty of bars near by to get refreshments from. The reserved seats are well worth it, close to the band and seated. You need to book early though to be in with a chance of getting them!

Gregory C

2/1/2019

Awesome venue. Awesome music. Gregg Stafford led a fine show, and Michael White was fabulous on clarinet. We arrived 1 hour before the 5:00 show and were first in line (grab a drink and some bread pudding on your way, and the wait goes by fast!). Our kids got to sit on cushions at the very front of the hall, which made the experience even better for them.

Allen P

3/2/2019

You hear good music all over the Frenchman and Bourbon street to be sure. But Preservation Hall is something special and unique. The mood, there purpose and the quality of the musician made this place a step above the rest. I will go every time I step foot into New Orleans. Traditional Jazz at it's best. What a treat!

Drazen S

3/2/2019

A perfect experience! Visiting the Preservation hall is like being transported into another century. With dim lights, simple wooden benches and shabby walls, the venue is a perfect setting for a jazz show. And the show is sublime. You don't have to be a jazz lover to appreciate and admire the skill and prowess of these musicians. I would suggest either splurging for the big shot front row seats or coming way early and making sure you're among first in the line for the cheap tickets. Once you enter be ready to move because at one point before the show you will be offered to come up front and sit at the cushions. There's not a lot of room, so if you get a cushion seat, you will have a great view. But keep in mind that you will be sitting on the floor for the show and this was a challenge for some of the older atendees. We stayed after the show and chatted for a few minutes with the band and they suggested to take a photo with my lady. Visiting Preservation Hall was among the highlights of our New Orleans visit!

Sabrina W

3/2/2019

The best place to hear REAL Jazz. Even though I had to stand and peek through a crowd of people (I'm vertically challenged) it was still SO worth it! Love all the history and of course the music! However-if you're not a fan of crowds or being in tight spaces or waiting in line and standing a lot...you just might want to pass on this one.

Ezekiel M

4/2/2019

One of a kind historical place. Buy tickets early for extra if you want good seats. Otherwise, wait in the line for less (and you may be waiting as the night progresses). Shows start every hour or two. Rigid able how they do things, but it's too persevere an authentic experience. Great music. Must see (and hear)!

Paul J

4/2/2019

Absolutely Amazing!!!! This place will change the way you think and feel about music if you've never heard jazz in person. It was my first experience with this amazing level of jazz and I am now in love!!! I can't recommend this place enough. You should definitely go and you should definitely purchase reserved seating to guarantee a comfortable place to sit and remove the hassle of waiting in line

John L

4/2/2019

✔️ Checked off the bucket list, and what a treat! I understand that they have to get you in and corral you out to accommodate the masses of folks looking to get in, but that would be my only complaint. Standing shoulder to shoulder, we all enjoyed a sublime showing of jazz prowess and showmanship. Just a fantastic time, and I hope I have the opportunity to do it again. Don't forget to grab a beer or a hurricane and visit a restroom before going in! You won't find those inside. 🎹🎺🎷

Natalie B

5/2/2019

Amazing show! Get tickets in advance! Front row was worth every penny. Wonderful music. Wish it could have been longer. You can bring in your own drinks.

Gerald W

5/2/2019

Very disappointing experience. Is this supposed to be the jazz cathedral?

We only stood in line for 20 minutes for the 7PM performance and paid $20 cash. The band had some younger musicians that performed very well and some more mature ones that while very experienced have voices that have faded with age. Let the next generation of talents move in!

Toni T

5/2/2019

Absolutely worth every penny!! This show cannot even be described. It was magical, enchanting and it takes you back to the good ol' times of real jazz music. The musicians are just excellent, every single one of them. And they are very entertaining too. Make sure you buy the tickets early to secure a front row seat to be as closely as possible to the musicians. The hall is pretty small, so it doesn't have that many seats. If you don't buy the reserve-seat tickets, you can still get in as a first come first serve basis, so show up early. I only wish the shows were longer. This show will change your perspective on jazz and music forever.

shawn d.

Stars_5

6/5/2018

If things like comfortable seating, air conditioning, food and water matter to you, you may want to pass on Preservation Hall (Note: it is byob).

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