Options for live music in New Orleans the week of Dec. 14-20, 2023 include a couple of marquee jazz vocalists and various holiday-themed shows.



For years, singer, songwriter and guitarist Lynn Drury has cranked out sturdy Americana music in New Orleans and beyond. But the plug was pulled on her performing career, at least temporarily, when she fell following a Nov. 18 gig in Springfield with the hybrid ska band Shantytown Underground. She fractured her right humerus, the bone that connects to the shoulder joint, in three places. The injury to her “strumming arm” means she won’t be able to play guitar for several months. On Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., a litany of her musician friends and admirers will perform her songs during the “Love For Lynn” benefit at the outdoor Broadside (600 N. Broad St., next to the Broad Theater). A partial list of scheduled performers includes keyboardist John “Papa” Gros, guitarists Papa Mali, Alex McMurray, Marc Paradis, Jake Eckert, John Fohl, Jonathan Freilich and Marc Stone, drummer Russ Broussard and bassist Rene Coman. Shanytown Underground is also slated to perform a brief set. Suggested donation is $20.

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Harry Shearer and Judith Owen, getting into the spirit of 'Christmas Without Tears.'



For 18 years, singer and pianist Judith Owen and her husband, satirist and comic actor Harry Shearer, have presided over "Christmas Without Tears," their holiday season variety show that is equal parts radiant and racy. With Owen serving as mistress of ceremonies, musicians and storytellers take turns either saluting or skewering the season’s sentiments. Shearer missed the 2022 show because he was sick with COVID; he hopes to return in his role as straight man to his wife’s witticisms this year. Other scheduled performers include guitarists Sonny Landreth, Samantha Fish and Phil DeGruy, actors John Goodman and Bryan Batt, Cajun star Zachary Richard, cellist Helen Gillet, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, vocal group Solid Harmony and vocalist Tonya Boyd-Cannon. All proceeds from this year’s event benefit Innocence Project New Orleans, which works to free wrongly convicted prison inmates. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees.



Every two years since 2015, singer-songwriter Kelcy Mae of Americana/alt-country ensemble Ever More Nest has hosted the Merry Songwriter Revue. Songwriters roll out new, original seasonal compositions as well as “songs we love, and songs we love to hate.” The fifth Biennial Merry Songwriter Revue at BJ’s Lounge (4301 Burgundy St.) features Ted Hefko, Mia Borders, Lilli Lewis, Bruisey Peets, Shawn Williams, Sarah Quintana, Sam Doores, Sabine McCalla and Ever More Nest. Showtime is 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $15.

Indie jazz/Americana band Bon Bon Vivant swings out at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


Mike Cooley, of Drive-By Truckers, kicks off two nights at Chickie Wah Wah ($35).

Singer-songwriter Leyla McCalla holds court at the Toulouse Theatre ($20).

Havana-born, New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Yusa leads her Cuban Jazz Quintet at Snug Harbor at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ($30).


Irrepressible trombonist and vocalist “Big” Sam Williams hosts Big Sam’s Holiday Jam at Tipitina’s on Saturday with Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Pell, Flagboy Giz, Quiana Lynell and Sporty’s Brass Band ($22).

Samara Joy

Jazz singer Samara Joy, winner of the 2023 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Blues-based guitarist Chris Thomas King leads a trio at Snug Harbor at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ($30).

The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars fire up the dancing at d.b.a. at 9 p.m. ($15).

The Fleur de Tease burlesque troupe stages its Holiday Revue at the Toulouse Theatre for two shows, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ($25 to $35).

Mike Cooley returns to Chickie Wah Wah for the second consecutive night ($35).


At 24, the Bronx-born Samara Joy is one of the most acclaimed jazz singers of her generation. She won Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards; her Verve Records debut, “Linger Awhile,” won for Best Jazz Vocal album. She brings the tour in support of her new Christmas album, “A Joyful Holiday,” to the Orpheum Theater on Sunday. She’ll be joined by multiple generations of her family performing as the McLendon Family. Tickets start at $35.

Anders Osborne is joined by Brad Walker, Matt Booth and Tiffany Lamson at Chickie Wah Wah ($60).

Cajun accordionist Bruce Daigrepont hosts his monthly, early-evening fais do-do dance party at Tipitina’s starting at 5:15 p.m. ($10).

Forward-thinking jazz ensemble the Saturn Quartet — it consists of Ricardo Pascal on saxophone, Brendan Polk on piano, Robin Sherman on bass and Gerald Watkins Jr. on drums — plays at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Snug Harbor ($25).


Tipitina’s celebrates the birthday of its patron saint, Professor Longhair, with performances by pianists Keiko Komaki, River Eckert, Davis Rogan, Mikey B3, Ross Hoppe, Luciano Leaes and more ($15).

Following an art show by Cyril Neville and Lionel Milton from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Chickie Wah Wah, Omari Neville & the Fuel perform at 8 p.m. ($20).


What the national media are saying about New Orleans Jazz Fest

Gregory Porter performs in the Zatarain's WWOZ Jazz Tent during the New Orleans Jazz Fest at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans Friday, April 25, 2014. (Photo by Brett Duke, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

Renowned jazz vocalist Gregory Porter brings his Holiday Tour to the Saenger Theatre on Wednesday. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $47.50 plus fees.

Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra present a Happy Hour concert at Tipitina’s starting at 6 p.m. The hourlong program includes a string quintet performing “Nutcracker” excerpts and teaming with the band Sweet Crude, a brass quintet playing holiday tunes and students from Homer Plessy Community School representing the LPO Academy. Tickets are $26.

Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins stages his Crazy Cool Christmas Party at Chickie Wah Wah ($25 plus fees).

Email Keith Spera at kspera@theadvocate.com.