While residents are doing their best to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still plenty of fun to be had online until we’re 100%! Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18
Quarantunes Virtual Concert | 2 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Every Friday at 2 p.m., the New Orleans Jazz Museum hosts virtual concerts with an exciting mix of talented Jazz musicians, all performing from their homes. The free online series, broadcasting to music fans around the world, highlights the rich culture and history of New Orleans. This week features Byron Asher, who can be seen regularly performing in New Orleans and is adjunct faculty in the music department at the University of New Orleans. He is one-third of Nutria, a trio dedicated to original instrumental music and named in honor of the swamp rat, and leads his award-winning Skrontch Music large ensemble, among other projects.
Virtual Happy Hour at Garden District Book Shop | 5 p.m. | Facebook Live and YouTube Live | Free
Each week during the pandemic, the Garden District Book Shop has hosted a virtual happy hour featuring New Orleans authors and literary lovers. This week the Shop is joined by Nick Johnson, co-founder of Libro.fm. Libro.fm is the first audiobook company to directly support local bookstores. Grab a drink and join the conversation with any questions you’d love to ask!
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NOLA ChristmasFest Finale | Zoom (link sent after registration) | 5:30 p.m. | Free
It’s quite a lineup for the final night of NOLA ChristmasFest! Things kick off with a segment called, “Audubon Nature Institute animals Make Santa’s List!” followed by a family holiday game night at 5:40 p.m. and story time presented by Mayor Latoya Cantrell at 5:50!
“Golden Hour” hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park | 6:30 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park presents the Arrowhead Jazz Band. The Arrowhead Jazz Band is an ever flowing musical institution that features Park Rangers performing alongside local New Orleans musicians. In this years Holiday Spectacular, the band features local songbird, Robin Barnes, along with her Fiya Byrds.
Fridays from the Funky Uncle! | 7 p.m. | Twitch, YouTube Live and Facebook Live | Tips encouraged via PayPal, GoFundMe or Venmo
“Friday’s From the Funky Uncle!” is a webcast featuring New Orleans Funk Musicians playing live to raise money for all members of the entertainment community in New Orleans who are in need. This week features local star Khris Royal and Dark Matter!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19
Winter 2021 Astrology Forecast | Noon | Zoom (link sent after purchasing ticket) | $25
2020 has been pretty intense to say the least, but what about 2021? In this two-hour session, Vera Lester of Wild Lotus Yoga will guide you through an interpretation of planetary movements and moon cycles to uncover what 2021 has in store for us. Feel free to bring questions about what you experienced in the past year, and see this page for more details on the event.
GLAM U for Teens | 1 p.m. | Zoom | Free
The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission is leading virtual exercise classes every day of the week (often two or three times a day). This Saturday afternoon there is a one-hour fitness session for teenagers!To join in on Zoom, use the link above and enter the Meeting ID (334-196-3309) and Password (BeFitNOLA).
Porch Fest! | 4 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Anais St. John and Harry Mayronne Sr. are back for another round of Saturday tunes. This week they’re playing your favorite Christmas music!
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Happy Holidays Pajama Party | 7 p.m. | Online (learn more here) | Suggested donation of $25
In true 2020 fashion, no need to get dressed up for this special event. Grab your coziest PJs, snuggle up with the kiddos and join Esplanade Studios for this family-friendly night of songs live from the heart of New Orleans. Kristin Diable & The City will be the featured musical performers! For information on payment and tickets, see this page.
Tipitina’s Encore Benefit | 8 p.m. | Website | Donations encouraged
Everyone loves Tipitina’s! In fact, everyone loves Tipitina’s so much that they are doing a special expanded encore performance of their recent “Save Tip’s” concert! There’s far too much extraordinary music being featured on this show to mention but recorded performances by Fats Domino, Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Jimmy Buffett, Widespread Panic, and Wilco…plus a whole lot more!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20
The Broad Theater Hosts Virtual Cinema | All Week | Kino Marque and Vimeo | Purchase tickets (see below)
Broad Theater is open for business, but if you’re not ready to step into a theater just yet, they’re partnering with Kino Marquee Vimeo, who are bringing you a rotating selection of movies directly to your home. There are multiple ways to stream the movie (which can be purchased at any time and watched for five days after the purchase). This week there are three selections and you can click on the following links to find out how to purchase tickets for Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, and Call Me Brother.
Suite Sunday: Holiday Favorites | 2:30 p.m. | Online (link sent after purchasing ticket) | $50
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is performing some of your favorite holiday tunes online. Your ticket will also include chocolate from Piety & Desire Chocolates so these suites are going to be really sweet! You can learn more about the event and performance here.
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New Orleans Saints — Week 15 | 3:25 p.m. | CBS, WWL 870 AM / 105.3 FM, the Saints app | Price Varies
Who Dat Nation tunes in as their Saints hope to build on their 10 – 3 season record. This week they host the defending world champion Kansas City Chiefs!
Balcony Concert and Livestream | 4 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Listen to the sweet soundscapes of the Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band online this Sunday afternoon! Learn more here.
See? There’s tons going on! If you can afford it, please be sure to tip the band/performers/DJ/teachers/etc. Many of them are battling lost gigs as a result of the pandemic, and are working very hard to keep us entertained during the unique times.
Remember, send me an email if you have an event you’d like me to add for next week’s round-up!
WRITER MATT HAINES LIVES IN NEW ORLEANS. FOLLOW HIM FOR ALL THINGS GOING ON IN NOLA — DURING TIMES OF PANDEMIC AND OTHERWISE — AT MATTHAINESWRITES.COM, AND ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER.