The music scene in New Orleans is phenomenal! NOLA is considered to be the birthplace of jazz in the United States. Many famous jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong emerged from here and helped shape the music culture in this country. Louis Armstrong is memorialized in a nearby park, unsurprisingly called Louis B. Armstrong Park. You can hear live music in the French Quarter - there are many extremely talented musicians playing in the streets. People and bands looking to get discovered often perform in/around Jackson Square Park. This is also a spot where artists are known to sell their work. To find jazz in actual venues, head to Frenchman Street - there are lots of great spots to check out, Maison being one of the most famous. You will find music on the streets in this area as well.
The party scene is outrageous – head to Bourbon Street (both during Mardi Gras and not) for loud music, scandalous dance moves and debaucherous shenanigans. Don’t forget to visit a bar with a balcony on the second floor for a drink so you can enjoy the view of Bourbon Street from above and people watch – you’re guaranteed to see something interesting.
As you may have heard and/or seen, Mardi Gras is a time when there is even more ruckus going on in New Orleans than normal. When you take an already wild city and give people a reason to celebrate, you can expect pure madness. Green, gold and purple are the colors you will most vividly and frequently see, along with numerous themed parades going on in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday. Be careful when attending parades as numerous items/collectables are thrown from the floats - getting hit in the face with a bag of large beads stings and may leave a mark. The closer it gets to Fat Tuesday, the more intense the city becomes. The weekend before Fat Tuesday gets really rowdy, particularly on Bourbon Street. Londi Gras (the day before Mardi Gras) is also chock full of parties and celebrations. Be safe and have fun!