In December of 2017 / January of 2018, we were lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. We had an amazing time and saw some great places such as Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral, their Riverwalk Outlet, as well as the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street. One thing that wasn’t on the to-do list that we stumbled upon was the New Orleans Musical Legends Park. I am so glad we found this place accidentally.
The park is a tribute to New Orleans Musical Legends and includes a series of commemorative displays, plaques, and artwork. This park also features a small historical marker on the gate at the entrance. It was a wonderful place to sit, drink some coffee, eat a beignet, and listen to some live Jazz. We met some really nice people and enjoyed talking to them for a while as we sat and enjoyed the music. They also have live music from 10 am to close. It is such a great place to relax and listen to some great music. They even had heaters if it gets cold.
New Orleans Musical Legends Park‘s onsite restaurant is called Café Beignet. They specialize in breakfast foods and sandwiches, as well as Cajun specialties like gumbo and red beans and rice. Like I said earlier, their beignets are amazing and we both thought they were much better than the ones at Café DuMonde. Sorry, Café DuMonde, We went back a couple of times just to pick up a few beignets 🙂
I really enjoyed walking around a looking at all the statues of some of the greats. Ronnie Kole, Chris Owens, Louis Prima, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, and my favorite Fats Domino. Below is some information about each artist via Clio. You can check out their page here.
The legends enshrined at the park include: Antoine “Fats” Domino (1928- ) – Fats, of French Creole descent, was born and raised in New Orleans. He went on to become a highly successful pianist, songwriter, and early pioneer of rock ‘n roll. Louis Prima (1910-1978) – Prima had a lot of titles, including singer, songwriter, bandleader, trumpeter, and actor. His career took him far from his native New Orleans, as well as New York City, Las Vegas, and a gig playing at President Franklin Roosevelt’s birthday party. Ronnie Kole (1929- ) – Kole was born in Chicago, but his love for jazz brought him to New Orleans where he became an internationally known jazz pianist. Irma Thomas (1941- ) – A Grammy Award winner and member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Thomas is known by all as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans.” Allen Toussaint (1938-2015) – Born in the Gert Town neighborhood of New Orleans, Toussaint was a well-known songwriter, musician, arranger, and producer.
Al “Jumbo” Hirt (1922-1999) – Also known as the “Round Mound of Sound,” Hirt was one of the best jazz trumpeters of his day. The New Orleans native is best known for the theme of the Green Hornet television show. Pete Fountain (1930-2016) – Born on White St, Fountain took his jazz clarinet to the Lawrence Welk show where he left after a few years, famously claiming “champagne and bourbon don’t mix.” He’s also known for founding the Half-Fast Walking Club, a freelance Mardi Gras marching group. Chris Owens (1932- ) The “Chris Owens Review” has been a fixture at the corner of St. Louis and Bourbon Streets since she arrived in New Orleans from Texas in the late 1950s.
New Orleans Musical Legends Park is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm, with extended hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday. They are located at 311 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130 and close via public transportation. It may be a smaller park as they call it, but it is full of history and pride. I am extremely glad we spent some time checking it out and listening to some great music. Make sure this is on your list the next time you are in New Orleans. Here is a link to their website with more information.
Musical Legends Park Visitor Info
311 Bourbon St. New Orleans, LA 70130
Daily 8 AM to 10 PM
Free – expect food and drinks you purchase
- Bus: N. Rampart at Conti
- Tram: Canal at Dauphine (Out)
- Renting a Car/ Bike
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