Feel the Beat of American Blues and Jazz

Packages Available: Spring, Fall and Winter
Tour Length:
14 Days/13 Nights

Day One:

Arrive in New Orleans, LA, late afternoon/early evening for a three-night stay in a French Quarter hotel.

Day Two:
Natchez SteamboatThis morning begins with a narrated New Orleans City Sightseeing tour aboard a public site-seeing vehicle. You will travel by the historic parts of the French Quarter, where you will see some of the oldest sections of the city: Jackson Square, the towering St. Louis Cathedral, the infamous Bourbon Street and the bustling French Market. No visit to New Orleans would be complete without a tour in one of the historic cemeteries, where you will find the above ground tombs that inhabit these "cities of the dead." Tonight, savor the beauty and romance of the New Orleans skyline aboard the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Climb aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ for an included Dixieland Jazz Dinner Cruise.

Day Three:

New OrleansNew Orleans is a destination that abounds in food, history and music. The Court of Two Sisters, where you have brunch today, offers an authentic blend of it all. In this picturesque, old-world courtyard with original gas lights and flowing fountains, is a historic restaurant with a strolling trio that plays real New Orleans Jazz music. Your afternoon is then free to enjoy The Quarter's many shops, boutiques and entertainment venues.  Dinner is on your own. We recommend that you visit the Preservation Hall, a unique venue featuring the distinctive sound of New Orleans Jazz that embodies the city’s musical legacy. You may easily travel around New Orleans on foot or by pubic transportation.

Day Four:

Cajun cookinFrom New Orleans, enjoy a scenic drive through rural Louisiana swamps and marshes to Lafayette, located in the heart of Cajun Country. This region is rich in tradition and full of the energy and spirit that has made South Louisiana world renown. The Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park were created to preserve and represent Acadian, Creole and Native American cultures within the region. Vermilionville is the largest physical representation of Acadian and Creole culture in the world. It is a place for music, food, expression, cultural exchange, historic architecture and much more. Witness a lifestyle as it occurred during a time period spanning from 1765 to 1890, where you will find craftspeople in period clothing, historic and period reproduction buildings and homes, plus live Cajun and Creole music.  This evening, enjoy fine food and entertainment at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant, where authentic flavors and music fill the night.

Day Five:

At this point in your tour, you have toured New Orleans and Southern Louisiana and listened to that great Dixieland Jazz that has roots in the Cajun and Creole cultures of the region. Today you return to the river and embark upon the Mississippi Blues Trail. The Blues, with its roots in plantation culture, is a style of music created by slaves who later in post Civil War generations brought it to the cities where it merged with and influenced Jazz, Gospel and Rock n' Roll.

Enroute to Natchez, visit the Frogmore Cotton Plantation in Ferriday, LA.  Hear the story of cotton in the antebellum era of the South, when slaves tended these fields. Equally as important as the agricultural history that the plantation cared for, is the human story. Attend a slave wedding or a church sing. You may hear song coming from the slave quarters as re-enactors portray the lives of their ancestors.

MusiciansYour next stop is the Delta Music Museum, where you will learn how and why music interplayed daily in the lives of the slaves and sharecroppers. Discover how earlier music transformed into Rhythm and Blues and Rock 'n' Roll. Listen to intimate stories about Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Aaron Neville, Conway Twitty, Percy Sledge and other Ferriday native musicians. You also have a chance to hear their music.

Overnight lodging is in Natchez, MS on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi and amidst magnificent antebellum homes, fascinating history, exciting events and a romantic atmosphere. Your stay features two nights lodging in an antebellum mansion or historic home.

Dinner is served at a historic district restaurant that has been voted America’s #1 Blues Nightclub by the Memphis Blues Foundation. Listen to great live music in an intimate setting where everyone has a front row seat!

Day Six:

Record StoerThis morning, motor along the historic two-lane rural road known as the Natchez Trace, and travel as far as Jackson, MS. At the end of your drive you find Raymond's Little Big Store.  This is a historic building, filled with records, tapes (8-Track Cassettes), CD's, posters, magazines and all kinds of music-related stuff.

Overnight this evening in Jackson, MS.  Here is your chance to explore the Farish Street redevelopment. This street is to Jackson, what Beale Street is to Memphis. Listen to the famous "Farish Street Sound" at the area’s all-new clubs and restaurants. You will also find phonograph shops, record stores, historic theaters and countless stories of bluesmen.

Day Seven:

Mississippi RiverThis morning you travel through Yazoo City, MS, known for the unique Bentonia style of Blues, and a Juke Joint called the Blue Front Café. However, your destination is actually the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, MS. Your tour begins in the theater and leads you on a journey through the Mississippi Delta and into the life of B.B. King. The Center features the very latest in high-definition projection and audio technology.  You are immersed in the sights and sounds of the Delta, and then introduced to the remarkable legacy of a man known as the King of the Blues. Have lunch on your own at a restaurant near the museum.

The next stop on your Delta tour, is the Greenwood Blues Heritage Museum and Gallery. This museum contains the South's largest collection of music and memorabilia from Robert Johnson, the Delta Blues musician who allegedly "sold his soul to the devil" in order to become the greatest guitar man ever.

Todays drive ends in Clarksdale, located at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 ("the crossroads.") Clarksdale and the surrounding Delta region are known as "the land where the blues began." This evening, enjoy a Southern Barbecue dinner and live music at Ground Zero, a restaurant/juke joint that is co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman.

Day Eight:

Your morning features a visit to the Delta Blues Museum, an internationally acclaimed museum that showcases the history and significance of the Blues in this region. The museum features a wax figure of Blues great, Muddy Waters and the famous Muddywood Guitar. Many now-legendary musical artists, were born and raised in and around Clarksdale: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker and W. C. Handy. The likes of Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton are also associated with the museum. Clarksdale was a major market for the Delta’s constantly traveling musicians.

Next, visit the Rock and Blues Museum. It is packed full of music memorabilia, dating from the 1920’s through the 1970‘s.  During your visit, follow the evolution of America’s music, from Blues, R&B, and Rockabilly, to Rock ‘n Roll and Soul and see how it influenced people all over the globe. Clarksdale also has a wide range of eclectic shopping experiences that feature the culture of the Mississippi Delta.

Your accommodations are at a hotel convenient to Beale Street, so you may conveniently enjoy the sights and sounds and have dinner on own.

Day Nine:

ElvisIt was Muddy Waters who once said, "the Blues had a baby and they called it Rock’n Roll." That said, you are bound for nearby Memphis, home to the King himself, Elvis Presley.

Your day begins with an included visit to the Rock 'n Soul Museum. The museum offers a historical and educational exploration of the origins of Rock and Soul music, of the musical legends that overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create America’s music and of its influence on world culture.

Your next stop is Graceland, where you will tour the mansion where Elvis lived during his adult life. You will also see his private airplanes, automobiles and special exhibits.

Return to Beale Street to enjoy another evening among the Blues Clubs and restaurants.

Day Ten:

This morning is dedicated to recording, where you begin at Stax Records.  Stax is important in American music history, as it is one of the most popular Soul Music record labels of all time - second only to Motown. Next, visit the legendary Sun Studios, the most famous recording studio in the world.

The afternoon features a one-of-a-kind driving tour of Memphis' musical heritage. Your Mo Jo Tour features live music on the bus, so you are guaranteed to have a good time as you learn about the sights and sounds of the City.

Enjoy dinner with your co-travelers, at B.B. Kings on Beale Street!

Day Eleven:

This morning’s travel takes you to St Louis where you arrive mid afternoon. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure to explore the city. Overnight accommodations are at the Moonrise Hotel, a unique boutique hotel, located in the entertainment district. Enjoy a dinner and show combo, "Jazz at the Bistro." There are several other local clubs that offer live entertainment such as Chuck Berry's Blueberry Hill.

Day Twelve:
Chicago BeanTravel to Chicago where you will arrive mid afternoon. Enjoy time at your leisure in the City. Overnight accommodations for two nights are in a downtown hotel, The Palmer House. Prepare yourself for an evening of Blues entertainment.  Begin with dinner, on your own, followed by visits to Chicago’s multitude of entertainment venues.

Day Thirteen:

This morning, embark on a Chicago Blues Heritage Tour.  This musical movement began as rural Southerners migrated to industrial jobs in the city and brought their music with them. Witness all of the places important to the evolution of the Blues:  Maxwell Street, the 708 Club and Chess Records (now home to the Blues Heaven Foundation.) Learn about the State Street Stroll and the Blues District and witness Vee Jay Records and the Blues Brothers Mural. Your farewell evening features dinner and music at the renowned Buddy Guy’s "Legends."

Day Fourteen:

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Details

Packages Available: Spring, Fall and Winter
Tour Length:
14 Days/13 Nights

Your Package Includes:

  • 13 Nights first class lodging
  • 11 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 7 Dinners
  • Admissions to attractions described above as included
  • Full-time escort
  • Inter city transportation on a luxury motor coach
  • Guided local tours stated above as included
  • Accommodations for coach driver
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for coach driver, full time tour manager/escort and local guide are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)

Pricing Information:

  • Call now for custom pricing.