Christmas week in New Orleans only has one mostly silent night — Christmas Eve. Otherwise, you’ve got multiple options for live music.



Since the 1960s, Benny “Grunch” Antin has anchored Benny Grunch & the Bunch, the band that lovingly spoofs local traditions, icons, accents and, via “Ain’t Dere No More,” long-gone local landmarks. The holiday season has proven especially inspirational to the Bunch, as evidenced by “O Little Town of Destrehan,” “Santa and His Reindeer Used to Live Right Here” and, of course, “The 12 Yats of Christmas.” First released in 1990, “The 12 Yats of Christmas,” a play on “The 12 Days of Christmas,” is enduringly popular in south Louisiana, even though many of its references “ain’t dere no more.” Yes, you can still catch a crawfish in Arabi, but K&B, Dixie beer and Schwegmann’s, to cite several of the lyrical references, are gone. But locals still love “The 12 Yats of Christmas”; students at St. Michael Special School performed it last weekend as part of their Christmas show, with Grunch in attendance. Now 78, Grunch and the rest of the Bunch will continue their 20-year tradition of performing on the evening of Christmas Day at Rock ‘n’ Bowl. The show is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

sullivan fortner

New Orleans pianist and composer Sullivan Fortner.



New Orleans-born pianist and composer Sullivan Fortner has made a name for himself on the national jazz scene. Now based in New York, he has developed an ongoing collaboration with vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant that includes accompanying her on her 2018 album “The Window.” His own albums include “Aria” and “Moments Preserved.” The Downbeat Magazine critics’ poll designated him a “rising star” on piano and a “rising star” jazz artist overall. He’s also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Diane Reeves, Etienne Charles, John Scofield, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Billy Hart, Fred Hersch and the late Roy Hargrove. While back in his hometown to perform with jazz vocalist Samara Joy at the Orpheum Theater, Fortner booked a night of solo piano performances at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchmen Street. He’ll play sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $30.



Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie are featured for the weekly Zydeco Night at Rock ‘N’ Bowl ($15).

Ruston-born blues guitarist and singer D.K. Harrell plugs in at Chickie Wah Wah ($20).


Cyril Neville's Swamp Funk performs on the Acura Stage during the 50th annual Jazz Fest at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, Sunday, May 5, 2019.


Cyril Neville, the last of the original four Neville Brothers still actively performing, applies his soulful voice to classic New Orleans funk and rhythm and blues songs at Tipitina’s; his son Omari Neville’s band, the Fuel, opens the show at 8:30 p.m. ($22).

Contemporary R&B singer and TV personality Tamar Braxton brings her "Love and War 10 Year Anniversary Tour" to the House of Blues ($49 and up). Tiffany Evans is also on the bill.

Ninety-something Preservation Hall saxophonist and clarinetist Charlie Gabriel is backed by pianist Larry Sieberth, bassist Amina Scott and drummer Johnny Vidacovich at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Snug Harbor ($35).

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers hit d.b.a on Frenchmen St. ($20).

The Maple Leaf Bar celebrates the late Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s 80th “Heavenly Birthday” at 10 p.m. ($20).

Formed in 2022 by students at LSU, Few Blue takes its musical cues from an era before its members were born — specifically the classic rock of the 1970s, updated with more contemporary covers from the likes of Amy Winehouse. Fronted by singer Camryn Wisniewski, Few Blue plugs in at Rock ‘N’ Bowl on Friday ($10).


On Christmas Eve Eve, funky party band Flow Tribe stages its annual Christmas Crunktacular at Tipitina’s, with special guests Quarx and Valerie Sassyfras. Show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $18.

The Howlin’ Wolf hosts New Orleans-born, New York-based stand-up comic Sean Patton; tickets start at $20.

Jazz vocalist Phillip Manuel sings songs from his “Swingin’ in the Holidays” album at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Snug Harbor ($35).

It’s country night at Rock ‘N’ Bowl with Nashville South ($10).

The Higher Heights Reggae Band grooves at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street.

Guitarist Steve Kelly and his Merry Band of Evil Elves host the “Bah Humbug Ball at the Maple Leaf; costumes are encouraged ($20).


Bassist George Porter Jr. rests at home in New Orleans on Monday, December 19, 2022. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)


On Christmas night, legendary Meters bassist George Porter Jr. celebrates his 76th birthday at the Maple Leaf Bar with his band Runnin’ Pardners. General admission is $25; a ticket plus a commemorative silver-foil poster is $65.


Modern jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski presents Return to Mars at Snug Harbor, a reunion of the early ‘80s electronic jazz combo Mars. In addition to Masakowski on guitar and keytar, it features bassist James Singleton, keyboardist Larry Sieberth and drummer Ricky Sebastian. Shows are at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday; tickets are $30.

Powerhouse rhythm and blues singer Sierra Green, who cut her teeth on Frenchmen Street, is back for a gig at d.b.a. at 10 p.m. ($15).


Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra swing out at Snug Harbor with special guest vocalist Tonya Boyd-Cannon at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ($40).

Popular cover band the Topcats plays “all the hits” from various decades at Rock ‘N’ Bowl ($10).

The Tin Men hit the d.b.a. stage at 6 p.m.

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