Located inside Louis Armstrong Park
Nested in a calm corner of Louis Armstrong Park in the Tremé Neighborhood lies Congo Square. This space was once a safe area where slaves and free people could gather in the 19th century to hold meetings, markets, and celebrations. These drumming celebrations in particular were the starting point of the development of jazz music, giving this park the name "the birthplace of jazz music". Local voodoo practicers still consider this area spiritual and gather here for rituals.
The Tremé Neighborhood was formed towards the end of the 18th century, the first neighborhood established by free people of color. The neighborhood is still home to some of the most talented jazz musicians today. Every Thursday evening, you can find free concerts here, and on Sundays you can experience a traditional drum circle. The inagural New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was held here in 1970, but the skyrocketing popularity of the event has forced it to move to the New Orleans Fair Grounds today.
Learn more about the history of this park on our Garden District Bike Tour with French Quarter, and you'll understand how fitting it is that the birthplace of jazz be located in what is now known as Louis Armstrong Park.