Back during my college years, my friends and I would go to Snug Harbor because we didn’t have to wait in line to get a good cheeseburger and a Monsoon, like we had to at Port of Call. Eventually, we ended up bypassing Port and going straight to Snug because it also had something Port didn’t have: music, jazz to be exact. To our rock ‘n’ roll ears, going to Snug was a non-academic lesson on jazz – with a good drink and meal. It was inexpensive too, as we didn’t have the budget to pay the cover charge (we spent it on Monsoons, but hey, we were in college!), and we could sit at the bar (outside of the stage) to listen to the music.
The set up remains the same but my budget now includes money for a cover charge. Throughout the years I’ve seen a number of jazz musicians at Snug and the establishment is known for continuously featuring longtime favorites, such as Charmaine Neville and Ellis Marsalis. My most recent expedition was to see Irvin Mayfield with members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. My friend and I watched them from the second floor balcony, learning that if you want floor seats it’s first come, first seated. But a fun bonus of being up there is watching the musicians reflected in the large mirrors set up across the way. You can’t smoke and it may be hard to dance if the mood hits (because space is tight), but Snug is still the quintessential club to see jazz, whether it’s traditional or more contemporary. (And if you want to eat before the show, there’s a separate dining area.)
Oh, and another bonus about Snug? It’s located on the Frenchmen Street corridor, so if you need another music fix, the Spotted Cat and d.b.a. are just steps away.
Most annoying trend: Holding your cell phone up at concerts in lieu of a lighter. Now that smoking is rarely allowed, the sea of lighters above a crowd seems to be disappearing into an eerie, blue, cell phone-lit sea that takes away from the moment.
And while we’re on the subject, if your friend needed to hear you yell, “Dude, this is your song, man,” as a precursor to what’s playing on stage, they would’ve come with you to the concert. Really.