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Cleveland's melting-pot reputation extends to its music scene — in fact, if you can't find a band or artist you love, that's on you.
We have rock 'n' roll covered, of course, and a world-class orchestra, but there's also jaw-droppingly talented jazz, blues, soul and hip-hop musicians.
In Cleveland, you can visit a gritty corner bar and hear a raucous punk band or have your mind blown by a massive production at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. And in what other city can you work up a sweat dancing to polka at an outdoor festival?
Nowhere else but here.
If you’re the kind of person who eats, breathes and sleeps music, Cleveland’s already got a top spot on your travel bucket list. If rock is your jam, well then, chances are you’ve already got a getaway to the city on the books.
After all, not only did Cleveland DJ Alan Freed literally invent the term “rock 'n' roll,” but we also were the first city to embrace quintessential rockers like Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie during the famous WMMS Coffee Break Concerts.
Today, Cleveland's rock scene — encompassing indie, punk, classic and all points in between — is still ridiculously vibrant.
Every night, cozy clubs such as the Beachland Ballroom, Grog Shop and Mahall's 20 Lanes present a mix of locals and national up-and-comers. Larger theaters such as the downtown House of Blues and world-famous (really!) Cleveland Agora do the same.
And, of course, the programming at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — which includes tons of local music and a new band concert series — is keeping rock at the center of Cleveland’s vibe.
If your musical tastes run toward genres besides rock 'n' roll, Cleveland still strikes the right chord — a fact that is agreed upon across the country and around the globe.
You can find talented singer-songwriters pouring their hearts out at open mic nights and experimental jazz shows at the Bop Stop, as well as energetic hip-hop nights and blues guitarists providing a cry-in-your-beer soundtrack.
Nighttown is known nationally for its nightly jazz offerings, which range from big-name acts to young up-and-comers, in a venue that’s just as cool as its performers.
During the summer months, Cleveland music moves outdoors for funk, jam band and reggae dance parties, as well as folk and bluegrass under the stars at places like Jacobs Pavilion and Cain Park.
Multiple venues book classic jazz and soul sounds both you and grandma can enjoy. The Cleveland Orchestra, meanwhile, plays at both the very Instagrammable Severance Hall and summer outdoor retreat Blossom Music Center.