In the late summer, I always like to take advantage of the smaller crowds to check in with some of our veteran brass bands and troubadours whose weekly gigs are institutional around the city. The Hot 8 Brass Band is one of the hardest working groups in the city (and their cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” is really one of the best things you will see). You can catch them every Sunday night in the Howlin’ Wolf Den. This is an intimate room with great food, perfect for a sultry Sunday night. Up next is Rebirth Brass Band’s standing gig at The Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights. Rebirth are absolute legends and celebrating their 35th anniversary this year. This one goes late, so you have plenty of time for dinner at Jacques Imo’s next door. If you’re going to be down Frenchmen way on a Wednesday, d.b.a. has a great standing one/two featuring The Tin Men early and Walter “Wolfman” Washington late. Last but not least, most Thursdays you can catch the Soul Rebels down at Le Bon Temps. When I lived in that neighborhood, I was a regular at this show. It’s a close, sweaty celebration of New Orleans’ best sounds (pro-tip Le Bon Temps also has traditional piano and raw oysters on Fridays—so check that out as well). You really can’t go wrong with any of these shows and it’s nice to revisit those performances that keep the torch burning.  

Satchmo Summerfest

It’s August, which means that we are about to celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday once again. There really is no better way to honor the man or his music than at the festival that bares his name. This year Satchmo Summerfest falls August 3-5 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at The Mint. The festival always features a stunning selection of food and a deep lineup of local heavies. You can catch Aurora Nealand and The Royal Roses, Bonerama, Charmaine Neville, Ellis Marsalis, Jeremy Davenport, The Preservation Brass, The Storyville Stompers Brass Band and many more. I love this fest because the performers often focus on the traditional sounds of New Orleans music and you know you are going to find some excellent versions of Armstrong’s favorite red beans and rice.

Must-See Music

August 1

Bodega rocks Gasa Gasa.

August 5

Imagine Dragons pop into the Smoothie King Center.

August 12

Vacationer psyches out Gasa Gasa.

August 14

J. Cole raps the Smoothie King Center.

August 19

Gillian Welch soothes The Civic.

August 27

Journey/Def Leopard rock the Smoothie King Center.

August 30

Umphrey’s McGee jam the Joy Theater.

Dates are subject to change; email or contact him through Twitter @Minima.