My Spilt Milk and the Little Gem Saloon have free tickets to see Donald Harrison and The Palmetto Bug Stompers.

Photo of Little Gem Saloon

The city's newest jazz venue, Little Gem Saloon, is also its oldest, and you can check it out Wednesday or Thursday night for free. As Richard A. Webster wrote:

The two-story building at 445-449 S. Rampart St. is listed in the National Register of Historic Places because of the significant role it played during three separate periods in the history of New Orleans music.

It was a popular hangout for early jazzmen like Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll Morton from 1904-09, when it operated as Frank Douroux's Little Gem Saloon. Its next musical incarnation took place from 1926-49, when it became David Pailet's Loan Office. "It was a place where musicians hung out and pawned their horns and bought them," said New Orleans jazz historian Jack Stewart. "It was very much part of the music scene."

After the loan office closed, the last musical business to move in was Pete's Blue Heaven Lounge, which operated throughout the 1950s. It served as a starting and ending point for Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club funerals.

It's now open, with a restaurant on the ground floor and a jazz venue on the second floor. Wednesday night, Donald Harrison will perform, and the Palmetto Bug Stompers will be there Thursday. Both shows start at 9 p.m.

My Spilt Milk and the Little Gem Saloon have free tickets to both of these shows. Write alex@myspiltmilk.com and identify the show you'd like to see. I'll pass out tickets until I'm out.