New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, it is a place where generations upon generations of musicians have cultivated their unique sounds, you can feel it and hear it as you walk through the city, there is nothing else quite like it.

Screen shot 2012-05-04 at 4.32.12 PM.pngA few of us from Pandora were very lucky to attend this year’s Jazz and Heritage Festival and we soaked in the amazing sounds, hospitality and culture of the city. Our founder, Tim, and leader of music curation, Addi, spoke at the Sync Up conference, which is put on in conjunction with the festival. We also met up with some of our New Orleans listeners at a Sunday morning Town Hall. It was great to connect with our local New Orleans listeners amid such a musical weekend.

We had some amazing musical experiences on the streets of the city, both at and outside of the festival, thanks to a couple of wonderful local guides who quickly became our newest friends.

We attended a midnight concert at the historic Preservation Hall, featuring Preservation Hall’s own New Orleans style jazz band. Sitting on wooden benches in the small and historic French Quarter performance space, watching a band whose tradition has been carried on through the decades, it felt like we had traveled back in time. The microphone cut out early in the show and the players carried on without missing a beat and, when they brought a non-electric megaphone to sing through, we really did travel back in time!

We were lucky to have a behind-the scenes tour of The Music Box, which is “a shantytown sound laboratory.” It’s an interactive musical installation in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans consisting of several playhouse-like sized structures – a Disneyland for musicians. Each small building houses one or several instruments, some unconventional and some more recognizable.

We met a few of the artists and jammed on some of the instruments – I had to be wrangled out from behind the drum set so we could continue our tour! Later that night we learned about new genre that’s adding to the musical heritage of New Orleans: Bounce. Local artists Nicki da B and Big Freedia performed and everyone was “getting down shaking it.”

Lastly and certainly not least, this year’s Jazz Fest coincided with the first-ever International Jazz Day. The event was celebrated with performances by Herbie Hancock, Kermit Ruffins, Ellis Marsalis and several other iconic artists at sunrise at Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. It was truly a treat top off an already music filled weekend and to be surrounded by such legendary talent so early in the morning.

I already miss New Orleans though I feel like I’ve carried an important part of it back with me and deeper appreciate what we strive to do at Pandora: provide people with music they’ll love. The power of music is strong. Thank you, New Orleans!

-Aaron (Community Manager)


  1. Robert
    May 05, 2012 at 8:40pm
    I know this isn't really the place for it, but I can't find anywhere else where I could make a suggestion... Could you add a feature to block certain artists from a radio station? Like the "I'm tired of this song" thing, but for artists. Certain bands that I don't really like that much pop up on some of my stations way more than I'd like.
  2. Alexa Pulitzer
    May 22, 2012 at 3:10pm
    Tim & Addi & Aaron. Thanks so much for coming to NOLA. The flowers were beautiful. Loved being wth yall and welcome you back anytime! x Alexa
  3. Elizabeth Walker
    May 22, 2012 at 5:47pm
    My daughter and I attended the Sunday Morning Town Hall and thought Tim did a great job! It was very informative and we think Pandora is really heading in a good direction. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and glad that you enjoyed our wonderful city. Elizabeth
  4. Goyahkla
    May 27, 2012 at 6:47pm
    It was impossible for me to attend to the gathering, but my friend also a member of Pandora took some pics, and he said it was awesome, thank you for visiting The Big Easy, and welcome to comeback any time, I will make sure I'll have the time off to attend.
  5. alex
    May 28, 2012 at 7:46am
    why is pandora stopping access to it radio from Africa its no fair, music fans and good role models like Lakotai wont be able to explore other world good music
  6. Ferruccio
    June 07, 2012 at 6:58pm
    Dear mister / miss,I am from holanld in Europe and my knowledge of the english/american language is very poor. I would like to apolegize for that.I realy apreciate it, that you craeted this alternative for pandora radio. But still, I will not use this alternative because I find it realy difficult to find punk music on miscovery. Because I'm a big fan of punk music, pandora radio was ideal for me to discovver amarican punk bands. They gave me a lott of opertunities of other bands to listen to. But on miscovery I can NOT find any sort of deasent punk music. The only thing what came near to real punk music was Billy Idol and that's crap.So I apreciate the effort but I'm realy dissapointed about musicovery.Yours faithfully,Stephan Sekulic
  7. dragan
    November 09, 2015 at 2:28am
    i love new orleans

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