New Orleans Rhythms & Roots Music Tour


Dave was an engaging, personable, knowledgeable guide. His life and experiences made him an expert on NOLA music history. It was a treat to learn from someone who knows so much. He kept a good pace, involved everyone, and was considerate in finding shade from the July sun. We would take this tour again.

GetYourGuide | Music Tour | New Orleans: Rhythms & Roots Music Walking Tour



(1-4 Guests) $185, (5-8 Guests) $285; (9-12 Guests) $385


New Orleans Rhythms & Roots

If you want to know where American popular music came from and how it evolved, our New Orleans Rhythms & Roots Music Tour is the ticket. Walk from Back-O’-Town into the French Quarter talking about and listening to the essential music and influences of New Orleans going back over two and a half centuries.

The Bamboula

Congo Square in Armstrong Park

We will start off in Congo Square, famous for its African dances and drumming tradition. Stopping at legendary locations like Perseverance Hall, J&M Records, the Funky Butt, Donna’s and Preservation Jazz Hall, the present-day locus of traditional Jazz in the world.

Want to find out more about the first musician to ever play Jazz? Want to hear the story behind the first “Jass” recording? How about New Orleans’ claim to the first rock ‘n’ roll record? These are just some of the stories you’ll hear about the musicians and recordings that forever changed American popular music.

Buddy, Louis, the Fatman and the Like

New Orleans Music Tour

New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz. We are the city of Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, and the Marsalis family to name only a few. New Orleans leads the world in contributions to Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Opera, Gospel, Brass Bands, and many other disciplines. You’ll get more than 10 tour stops, over 20 musicians referenced, and something like 12-15 audio clips if not more.

Come join us and find out why Ernie K-Doe may have been right when he said “I’m not sure, but I’m almost positive that all music came from New Orleans.”

New Orleans Music Tour
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Hall photo courtesy of Donald Crais

Feed the Spirit

New Orleans is a place where bumping into a Brass Band immediately puts a smile on your face. It’s a place where the tambourines and the call and response of the Mardi Gras Indians mystify you every time. New Orleans is a place where we celebrate life, death and all that comes with it. We’re all about tradition, our family, our food and especially our music. Meet us in front of Congo Square Coffee at 806 North Rampart, across from Armstrong Park, the starting point for our New Orleans Rhythms & Roots Music Tour.



New Orleans Music Tour
Dave Thomas


Dave Thomas has been a tour guide since April of 2011.  He has experience with and loves doing a variety of walking tours,  selected specialty tours, and a number of different city (bus) tours.  He occasionally has acted as a Tour Manager/Leader.

His particular interest and specialty is music history, having designed many different music history tours for  multiple companies, lectured on New Orleans jazz history for the Delgado tour guide class, and is a primary trainer for the local Tauck guides on their Ken Burns Jazz Journey tours in New Orleans.  He lectures on various music related topics for both the National Park Service and the Friends of the Cabildo.

Dave also plays drums & percussion, including lots of local styles – brass band, traditional jazz, modern jazz, … and has played interpretative performances with the Park Ranger band in the Old U.S. Mint.

The Savvy Native is a group of experienced local tour guides who were either born in New Orleans or wish they had been.

A portion of the proceeds from The Savvy Native’s New Orleans Rhythms & Roots Music Tours are donated to Keep NOLA Music Alive a 501[c][3] non profit founded by Delfeayo Marsalis.

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