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Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 586-1094) is a must-visit store for anyone who likes New Orleans music. In business since 1992, the French Quarter shop specializes in local and regional music of all kinds — from jazz and zydeco to New Orleans-style rhythm and blues.

"It's a roots-music format," says shop owner Barry Smith. "We don't have any real selection of top 40, rap or even classical music. The premise was to really focus on New Orleans and Louisiana music. That is the main inventory of the store."

The Music Factory's downtown location caters to tourists who want to take a piece of New Orleans home with them.

"A lot of what people buy is inspired by them going out in the city and hearing a band," Smith says. "They want to go home and take some music from that particular artist with them. Some other customers want to get a sampler of New Orleans and Louisiana music. We can help both kinds of people."

Smith says the store also serves local shoppers because it sells just about any album put out by New Orleans musicians.

Additionally, the shop stocks a number of hard-to-find recordings from the early days of jazz, including those from lesser-known artists, for customers who want to learn more about New Orleans' musical past, Smith says.

Besides a large inventory of CDs, Louisiana Music Factory sells other music-related items. "We've got DVDs, T-shirts and artwork," Smith says. "We also have a fair selection of vinyl and LPs for collectors."

In-store concerts at the shop give customers opportunities to meet local musicians and hear them play. "Our regular concerts used to be every Saturday," he says. "It's more difficult to do that since Katrina, but we still have concerts two or three times a month. Right now, we're working on a big concert series for Jazz Fest. We'll have about 35 bands in the store over that time."

Visit for a complete schedule of in-store performances.

Louisiana Music Factory will host in-store concerts with various Jazz Fest artists this week. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Louisiana Music Factory will host in-store concerts with various Jazz Fest artists this week.

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