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French Quarter Music Festival

Program No. 10918RJ
Immerse yourself in great music at the French Quarter Music Festival, where you’ll hear renowned musicians showcasing a range of musical styles. Come for the music stay for the cuisine.

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2024
Starting at
Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2025
Starting at
Special Offer

Enroll by Aug. 31, 2024 to take $100 off the price shown!

DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2024
Starting at
Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2025
Starting at
Special Offer

Enroll by Aug. 31, 2024 to take $100 off the price shown!

At a Glance

You can’t get more New Orleans than this showcase for hundreds of local musicians on 14 stages throughout the historic Vieux Carré. There’s jazz, from Dixieland to contemporary, brass bands, classical, Cajun and Zydeco, rhythm and blues, gospel and everything in between. During private morning sessions, local musicians reveal the history and meaning behind their music as they perform just for you. Sample classic New Orleans cuisine from nearly 60 food and drink booths, visit private patios, enjoy fireworks over the Mississippi River, join in a “second line” parade and attend art exhibits and music workshops.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking 6-8 city blocks per day.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Revel in three days of authentic New Orleans music at the French Quarter Festival.
  • Sample the Crescent City’s famous cuisine at renowned restaurants like Bourbon House, Muriel’s, Palace Café and the Court of Two Sisters.
  • Experience special performances by top New Orleans musicians.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Doreen Ketchens
Doreen Ketchens is a musician whose primary interest lies in spreading the culture and traditional music of New Orleans all over the world through performances and education. As the leader of the jazz band Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, she has been called "Queen Clarinet," "The Female Louis Armstrong," and “Lady Louie” by critics who have heard her perform. Doreen's Jazz New Orleans has represented New Orleans around the world, performing in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, South America, Russia and the U.S.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Johnny Layton
Johnny Layton View biography
Johnny Layton has been leading programs for Road Scholar since 2017. From the Florida Keys to Alaska, Johnny has led programs in 11 states and four countries. When he is not ensuring Road Scholar participants are having an amazing experience, you can find him in the sky crisscrossing the USA as a flight attendant or as a driver/guide on the Historic Trolley Tour at home in Asheville, North Carolina.
Profile Image of Anne Peery
Anne Peery View biography
Anne Peery is a Mississippi native and Tallahassee resident with experience in the Florida executive branch and cabinet staff positions; executive leadership of a statewide historic preservation non-profit; conservation real estate project management with a national non-profit organization; private sector real estate brokerage and land use consulting; and numerous state and community service activities. She was the first executive director of the Florida Communities Trust and director of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, responsible for producing major educational conferences across Florida.
Profile Image of Milton Carr
Milton J. Carr View biography
Milton Carr was born in Tremé, a cultural center of New Orleans. After studying in San Diego, Milton returned home to New Orleans where he worked for Domino Sugars. During his 33 years at Domino, he became interested in sugar cane’s connections to slavery and the economic history of the city. Milton has been a licensed New Orleans guide since 2001, and is a one-of-a-kind expert on the city's unique music, history, culture and heritage.
Profile Image of Lyndel Brauninger
Lyndel Brauninger View biography
Lyndel Brauninger, a native New Orleanian, is a retired educator who taught in the metropolitan New Orleans area for more than 30 years. Besides leading Road Scholar groups, she leads walking “foodie” groups in the French Quarter, where she has been a licensed exploration leader since 1996. Lyndel enjoys experiencing and learning everything the Crescent City has to offer, particularly the architecture, history, music, food, and amazing theater. She is thrilled to share her passion for New Orleans with people from all over the world.
Profile Image of Robin Rocque
Robin Rocque View biography
Robin Rocque's favorite city to share with guests is her hometown of New Orleans. Its diversely unique culture and musical background provides a lovely backdrop during its introduction. Robin has happily led groups in many cities and several countries. Robin has been a licensed New Orleans tour guide since 2004, and a certified international tour manager since 2011. She is an alumna of Vassar College, and recently served as a board member of a nonprofit organization that provides community support in and around New Orleans.
Profile Image of Dave Roberts
Dave Roberts View biography
Dave Roberts was born in New Orleans and baptized in the same church as Louis Armstrong. He received his B.B.A. from Loyola University (New Orleans) and his M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. For many years he worked at Loyola University as the director of student finance. Dave started working as a New Orleans group leader in 1997. His expeditions are a blend of history, architecture, food, music, writers, movies, and current events.
Profile Image of Doreen Ketchens
Doreen Ketchens View biography
Doreen Ketchens is a musician whose primary interest lies in spreading the culture and traditional music of New Orleans all over the world through performances and education. As the leader of the jazz band Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, she has been called "Queen Clarinet," "The Female Louis Armstrong," and “Lady Louie” by critics who have heard her perform. Doreen's Jazz New Orleans has represented New Orleans around the world, performing in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, South America, Russia and the U.S.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
This classic drama follows Blanche DuBois and the issues that arise when she moves to New Orleans to live with her sister and her husband.
Creole Trombone
by John Mc Cusker
"John Mc Cusker is a noted journalist,musician, and photographer from New Orleans. Edward ""Kid"" Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. Creole Trombone tells his story from birth on a rural sugar cane plantation in a French-speaking, ethnically mixed family, to his emergence in New Orleans as the city's hottest band leader. The Ory band featured such future jazz stars as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver, and was widely considered New Orleans's top ""hot"" band. Ory's career took him from New Orleans to California, where he and his band created the first African American New Orleans jazz recordings ever made. In 1925 he moved to Chicago where he made records with Oliver, Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton and captured the spirit of the jazz age. His most famous composition from that period, ""Muskrat Ramble,"" is a jazz standard. Retired from music during the Depression, he returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited career."
Life On The Mississippi
by Mark Twain
An invaluable companion to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi is Mark Twain's inimitable portrait of 'the great Father of Waters'. Part memoir, part travelogue, it expresses the full range of Twain's literary personality, and remains the most vivid, boisterous and provocative account of the cultural and societal history of the Mississippi Valley, from 'the golden age' of steamboating to the violence wrought by the Civil War.
All The King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character loosely based on Governor Huey ""Kingfish"" Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power.
Why New Orleans Matters
by Tom Piazza
In the aftermath of Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. Now what will become of New Orleans in the years ahead? What do this proud, battered city and its people mean to America and the world? Award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and neglected American metropolis by evoking the sensuous rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking; examining its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice; and explaining how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.
Rising Tide
by John Barry
An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.
New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album
by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon
If you are a lover and historian of Jazz, especially Dixieland, this is a must have. Many famous artists are listed, but also many obscure and unknown ones as well that helped form and develop the Jazz scene in New Orleans. Additionally, rare photos of numerous individuals, bands and locations in New Orleans are featured.
Jazz Masters of New Orleans
by Martin Williams
Presents a portrait of New Orleans and the history of jazz as revealed in the careers of such jazz musicians as Louis Armstrong and Sydney Bechet. Williams was director of the Jazz Program in the Smithsonian Institution, and "brings a refreshing wholeness of perspective to the music."
Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by American novelist John Kennedy Toole, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, eleven years after the author's suicide. The book, published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a revealing foreword) and Toole's mother Thelma Toole, quickly became a cult classic, and later a mainstream success. Toole posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981. It is now considered a canonical work of modern Southern literature, in the USA. The title derives from the epigraph by Jonathan Swift: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." The story is set in New Orleans in the early 1960s. The central character is Ignatius J. Reilly, an educated but slothful 30-year-old man still living with his mother in the city's Uptown neighborhood, who, due to an incident early in the book, must set out to get a job. In his quest for employment he has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters.
Creole New Orleans Race and Americanization
by Arthur Hirsch and John Logsdon
This collection of six original essays explores the peculiar ethnic composition and history of New Orleans, which the authors persuasively argue is unique among American cities. The focus of Creole New Orleans is on the development of a colonial Franco-African culture in the city, the ways that culture was influenced by the arrival of later immigrants, and the processes that led to the eventual dominance of the Anglo-American community.
Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton
by Williams M. Gaines
Jelly's Blues recounts the tumultuous life of Jelly Roll Morton (ca., 18851941). A virtuoso pianist with a larger-than-life personality, he composed such influential early jazz pieces as "King Porter Stomp" and "New Orleans Blues." However, by the late 1930s, he was nearly forgotten. In 1992, the death of an eccentric memorabilia collector led to the unearthing of a startling archive, revealing Morton to be a much more complex and passionate man than many realized. An especially immediate and visceral look into the jazz worlds of New Orleans and Chicago, Jelly's Blues is a definitive biography, a long overdue look at one of the twentieth century's most important composers.
Louis Armstrong: An American Genius
by James Lincoln Collier
Louis Armstrong. "Satchmo." To millions of fans, he was just a great entertainer. But to jazz aficionados, he was one of the most important musicians of our times--not only a key figure in the history of jazz but a formative influence on all of 20th-century popular music. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York during the "jazz age", Collier re-creates the saga of an old-fashioned black man making it in a white world. He chronicles Armstrong's rise as a musician, his scrapes with the law, his relationships with four wives, and his frequent feuds with fellow musicians Earl Hines and Zutty Singleton. He also sheds new light on Armstrong's endless need for approval, his streak of jealousy, and perhaps most important, what some consider his betrayal of his gift as he opted for commercial success and stardom. A unique biography, knowledgeable, insightful, and packed with information, it ends with Armstrong's death in 1971 as one of the best-known figures in American entertainment.

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