Jazz in New Orleans sounds especially joyous during the holidays. We don’t know if it’s the glow of Christmas lights adding ambience or the taste of a festive cocktail accompanying the music, but listening to live jazz is one of our favorite holiday past-times. With that in mind, we’ve booked several incredible jazz artists to perform at our Carousel Bar & Lounge throughout the holiday season. Immerse yourself in the gorgeous décor (and delicious drinks) of our bar as you listen to musicians like Lena Prima.


Lena Prima will perform holiday songs from her new Christmas album at our Carousel Bar & Lounge. (Photo courtesy Lena Prima)

Learn more about Lena below; you’ll also find out how to recreate the Carousel Bar experience at home with a recipe for one of our favorite New Orleans cocktails – bourbon milk punch.

New Orleans Jazz, Her Way

Lena Prima is the daughter of famed entertainer and New Orleans native Louis Prima, one of the ambassadors of the New Orleans jazz sound during the 1920s and ‘30s. Though Prima moved from New Orleans early on in his career, his daughter, Lena, felt a connection to this city and its jazz roots. After a permanent move to the city in 2011 (she also spent parts of her childhood here), Lena has continued performing, leading to the release of her album, “Starting Something,” earlier this year and a new Christmas album released in November. Lena’s sound combines elements of brass, jazz, and pop that honors her father yet is original and unique to her own style. A rich, powerful voice and infectious stage presence make Lena a natural for our Carousel Bar & Lounge. View our complete jazz schedule here, and be sure to stop in for Lena’s performance tonight starting at 9 p.m.

What to Drink

Our Carousel Bar has plenty of specialty cocktails, but a few in particular are a perfect complement to the holiday season. As you listen to Lena or any of our in-house musicians, try the French 007, a festive drink with pomegranate liqueur, pear vodka, and sparkling wine.

Another New Orleans favorite this time of year is the bourbon milk punch, first created in the city in 1862. This drink is typically for brunch, but we think it makes a wonderful after-dinner drink as well. While you can always order one at the bar, we’re providing our recipe below so you can make it at home.

Bourbon Milk Punch


  • 1.5 oz. Knob Creek Bourbon (you also can use brandy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • About 2 oz. cream
  • Fresh nutmeg


Shake the bourbon, vanilla extract, and cream in a shaker with ice until frothy. Strain the mixture into a glass with ice and top with freshly grated nutmeg. For a hot version, stir the alcohol, vanilla, and syrup into a mug of hot cream.