Live music is big here, and you can catch it at places like The Levee, a hit with music lovers of all types for many years with regularly-booked local and regional blues, jazz and rock acts. The Beaumont Club is a top nightlife spot, especially popular for country, but it also hosts a variety of heavy metal, pop and Southern rock bands. Great live jazz can be found at Blue Room and Plaza III among others.
Of course the man who will always be most closely linked to Memphis is Elvis Presley, who recorded at Sun Studio and built his extravagant home, Graceland, here. Both sites can be toured today, and at the Stax Museum, which chronicles the history of that iconic label that’s home to musicians like Booker T. and Otis Redding, is located at the label’s former home.
Whether you’re bar hopping in the French Quarter, attending the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the annual New World Rhythms Festival or Mardi Gras, the city’s music scene definitely won’t disappoint. Just a few of the musicians that have shaped the region include Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino, as well as more recent greats like Harry Connick, Jr. and Wynton Marsalis.
From Camden to Soho and Shoreditch, music oozes from nearly every pore of England’s capital, no matter what sound you’re into, in an eclectic mix of pricey clubs, traditional pubs and massive arenas that have played host to some of the most renowned music acts in the world. Head to the Old Blue Last for punk, Ronnie Scott’s for jazz and Floridita for Latin. For alternative, London’s Camden neighborhood is a must.
Bands like the Decemberists, Blitzen Trapper and Quasi hail from this eclectic city and can still be found playing in venues like the Crystal Ballroom and The Roseland Theater. Although the indie record label Kill Rock Stars started up north in Washington State, it now has its headquarters in the Rose City. You’ll find no shortage of creativity and intimate venues here, along with an outstanding local microbrew scene.
Music Row and honky-tonks aren’t the only draw here, the city also has a thriving rock scene that can be found at a number of venues, including The Basement, located just below Grime’s New & Preloved Music store. This intimate venue has hosted everything from acoustic to metal shows, and even some “secret” shows like Metallica, who played in front of just 175 people in 2008 when the band was on their way to Bonnaroo.
Vienna is known as the City of Music. It’s a must-stop for classical music lovers, with many of the giants of this genre having lived or made music here, including Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Strauss, Mahler, Haydn and Schubert. See the Vienna Philharmonic if you possibly can – there may be nothing better than experiencing a world-class recital by the esteemed orchestra in the stately Wiener Konzerthaus.
Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and while it may not have spawned a long list of musicians like London or San Francisco, it does have more live music venues per capita than such famed music spots like L.A., Nashville and New York City.
Motor City may still be struggling economically, but it’s still the birthplace of Motown Music and the home of the Motown Museum where you can listen to the sounds of Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Supremes and more. Here, you can see artifacts and even stand in the studio where those artists laid down tracks.
Many travel to Havana to experience pre-revolutionary son-style music, a prototype of salsa, along with Latin Jazz, timba and rumba which can be heard in the city’s streets and bars. One of the best places to watch these musicians who are just as vivacious as those who dance to the beat, is at Salon Rosada in Marianao.
College Arts Building in Boston, MA, United States
Classical music is still an important part of the city’s cultural heritage, driven by its colleges of music and conservatories such as the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is known as one of the most versatile ensembles across the globe, embracing both traditional and contemporary scores.
American Restaurant in Washington, DC, United States
America’s capital may have a stuffy reputation, but it’s actually had a thriving underground music scene for years now, including hardcore bands like Fugazi and Bad Brains as well as the Godfather of Go-go, Chuck Brown, who was from D.C. John Coltrane and Miles Davis are among the many top musicians who’ve played the legendary Bohemian Caverns.