OffBeat (music magazine)

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Editor-in-chiefJan V. Ramsey
CategoriesMusic magazine
CompanyOffBeat, Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inNew Orleans
WebsiteOfficial website

OffBeat is a New Orleans, Louisiana monthly local music magazine founded by Jan V. Ramsey in 1987.[1][2] The magazine, published by OffBeat, Inc., focuses on the popular music of New Orleans and Louisiana, which is generally R&B, blues, jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk, and many other traditional styles of music popular in Louisiana. OffBeat was the first magazine in New Orleans to resume publishing after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, despite losing all its staff and its printer.[3]

OffBeat publishes several music festival oriented issues, including the "French Quarter Festival Souvenir Guide" in early April, and the "Jazz Fest Bible," a special Jazz Fest issue. These issues contain schedules of local music festivals, detailed information on performers and club listings, and interviews with local musicians. The magazine hosts a local music awards series, "The Best of the Beat Awards",[4] to highlight local music and musicians, and also runs the "Louisiana Music Directory," containing listings of bands, musicians, record labels, and clubs in the state.

The magazine's website was the first magazine website online in the state of Louisiana.[citation needed]

With its April 2020 issue, OffBeat transitioned to a digital-only distribution model.[5]

Cultural impact[edit]

According to Sarah Ravits writing for another local publication, OffBeat "garnered a global readership and helped solidify New Orleans’ reputation as an international music destination."[6] Melissa A. Weber, curator at Tulane University, has written that "[a]s New Orleans’ premiere entertainment monthly, OffBeat’s consistent reporting allowed for expanded coverage of topics that may have been overlooked in local weekly newspapers."[5]

OffBeat is featured in the HBO series Treme. Its editorial resulted in the creation of characters (such as "DJ Davis McAlary", in reality local musician/DJ/writer Davis Rogan), and storylines in the series.[citation needed]

In 2023, Krewe du Vieux honored Ramsey and OffBeat by selecting her as their Mardi Gras Queen and developing the krewe's annual theme based on a humorous pun of the magazine's name.[6]


  1. ^ Welch, Michael Patrick (December 4, 2018). "The good fight: Jan Ramsey keeps music journalism alive in New Orleans". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  2. ^ Edward Komara (October 28, 2005). Encyclopedia of the Blues. Psychology Press. p. 757. ISBN 978-0-415-92699-7. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Spera, Keith (December 14, 2012). "Looking back at the first 25 years of OffBeat magazine". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 14, 2022 – via
  4. ^ "Best of the Beat Award Winners: Complete List". OffBeat Magazine. 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Tulane University Special Collections acquires Offbeat Inc. Materials". Tulane University Libraries. November 2021. Archived from the original on December 6, 2023. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  6. ^ a b Ravits, Sarah (November 4, 2022). "Krewe du Vieux selects OffBeat editor and publisher Jan Ramsey as its 2023 queen". Gambit. Retrieved February 28, 2024.

External links[edit]