With an acclaimed orchestra, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a vibrant live music scene, Cleveland hits all the right notes. The city’s rich music history encompasses all styles and genres.
Birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll.
Cleveland is where disc jockey Alan Freed
first coined the term "rock and roll" to describe the records he played as early as 1951 on local radio station WJW, and the name certainly stuck. Today, The Land is the undisputed home for rock, with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the top of the visitor experience bucket list.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
showcases the world’s largest collection of rock and roll artifacts displayed throughout more than 50 exhibits. Visitors can learn about the radio DJs and recording artists who invented the genre and check out memorabilia from legends like The Beatles and David Bowie, to contemporary artists like Lady Gaga and The Black Keys. The Garage
transforms the museum’s second floor into a hands-on area where guests can play, mix and record their own hits on more than 15 drums, bass guitars, keyboards and mixing boards. The reimagined and expanded Hall of Fame
experience spans the building’s third floor and takes visitors on an induction-themed voyage focused on the transformative power of rock.
Visitors can sift through records spanning from new and old LPs at Hausfrau Record Shop
, punk, metal and rock releases at My Mind’s Eye
, heavy metal at Black Market Records
, hip-hop, reggae and soul at Brittany's Record Shop
and genres ranging from jazz to country and classic rock at Blue Arrow Records.
Local record label Mistake by the Lake
has also opened its first brick-and-mortar record store, featuring a variety of hard-to-find experimental records from all over the world, in addition to a selection of releases by local acts on their label.
The Land of Music Stars.
Beyond rock ‘n’ roll, Cleveland’s rich music history encompasses a variety of style of genres. While “America’s Polka King” Frankie Yankovic may not be a household name, other Cleveland-raised music stars include Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kid Cudi, Machine Gun Kelly, Nine Inch Nails, Raspberries, Tracy Chapman and Welshly Arms.
Under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra
plays seasonally at Severance Music Center, within the perimeter of a national park at Blossom Music Center each summer and conducts annual residencies in Miami and Vienna. The Orchestra also features innovative programming, such as happy hour concerts on select Fridays, playing movie scores along with a live film, performing mini residencies within Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods and partnering with ballets, operas and other national artists.
Severance Music Center.
Home to the Cleveland Orchestra since 1931, Severance
is known as one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world and has received the Honor Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Cleveland Pops Orchestra. The Cleveland POPS Orchestra
performs in different venues throughout Cleveland, taking on current composers like John Williams, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin.
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.
The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
has been getting toes tapping in Northeast Ohio since 1984. The Orchestra promotes jazz in its historical and contemporary forms through concerts with gifted musicians, arrangers and composers.
Live Music Venues
The Agora Theater & Ballroom. The Agora
opened in 1985 inside a historic theater and became widely regarded as one of the premier live music and entertainment venues in the country. The newly renovated venue is a piece of Cleveland music history and continues to host national touring acts, emerging artists and local bands.
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern.
Catch a concert at the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
, a former Croatian social hall that’s now an independent music club. It’s become a beloved destination for music lovers seeking everything from rockabilly and punk to folk and alt rock in an intimate, vintage surrounding. The Beachland Ballroom has also been a catalysts for the development of surrounding the Waterloo Arts District, a testament to the transformative power of live music.
Blossom Music Center.
Located just 25 miles south of Cleveland, Blossom Music Center
is situated on 200 acres of rolling hills surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This outdoor performance pavilion showcases national and world-renowned acts, including a summer concert series with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Bop Stop at The Music Settlement.
A destination for live jazz performances, the Bop Stop
offers an intimate performance space with exceptional acoustics and a lakefront patio with sweeping views.
The Grog Shop
originally started as just another corner bar but quickly gave way to a booming music scene. Today, it showcases some of the best underground acts spanning various genres.
The only thing better than Happy Dog’s
gourmet hot dogs, expansive beer list and relaxed, retro vibe is the diverse lineup of local, regional and national acts that take the stage at the neighborhood corner bar.
House of Blues.
For nationally recognized performers like DNCE, Machine Gun Kelly, Mike Posner, Kid Cudi and Fetty Wap, visitors should check out the schedule at House of Blues
in Downtown Cleveland’s East 4th
Street Entertainment District.
The riverfront Jacobs Pavilion
is host to some of the hottest concerts and special events each summer. With sweeping views of the Cuyahoga River and towering bridges, Cleveland’s cityscape provides the backdrop at this open-air amphitheater.
Mahall's 20 Lanes. Mahall's 20 Lanes
in Lakewood takes the old-school bowling alley to a new level with a pool hall converted into a music club. Mahall's maintains its working-person’s bar space while showcasing indie rock and pop acts most nights of the week.
MGM Northfield Park.
Visitors can rock out with renowned musicians and get a close-up view at the acoustically-perfect 1,900-seat Center Stage
music hall, the music venue at MGM Northfield Park
Music Box Supper Club.
The Music Box Supper Club
, located on the Cuyahoga River in the Flats West Bank, has two performance areas where visitors can hear music from genres spanning from bluegrass to soul.
At the historic Odeon Concert Club
in the riverfront Flats neighborhood, acts from comedy to rock and heavy metal take the stage.
Winchester Music Tavern.
Found behind an unassuming bar and dining room, the concert space of the Winchester Music Tavern
welcomes touring acts, open mic nights, boozy bingo and other live events.