Music can reveal the heart of a city. From the style of the beat to the actual venues, capturing a show gives an insight into the people and culture of the city.
Music lovers know they can hear jazz in New Orleans and reggae in Kingston, but here are some other surprising sounds worthy of attention in music meccas around the world.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Often overlooked for its neighboring Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Baton Rouge is a haven for local and traveling artists. This city in Louisiana is known for non-profit “listening rooms” where musicians earn their money by “donating chairs” from the audience. In the Red Dragon Listening Room, talent is supported by donations, and visitors are encouraged to bring canned food for a local food bank.
2. dance hall
In a city famous for the reggae sounds of Bob Marley, the dancehall has also become internationally known. Stars like Sean Paul have made the Jamaican music style – rapping over Jamaican beats – a worldwide sensation.
3. alternative sounds
Most of the live music in Bogota is concentrated in the Chapinero district, where the sounds vary from alternative sounds at Matik-Matik to DJs playing in the video club. Bogota is also a popular place for almost monthly live music festivals.
4. folk music
St. John’s, Canada
George Street, in the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, has some of the most pubs and bars per capita of any street in North America; most of them offer live music at night on this pedestrian street. Visitors tend to look for the folk music of the region among all the possibilities.
Recognized as a UNESCO city of music, Glasgow is the epicenter of rock in Great Britain. Venues such as the Barrowland Ballroom host rock giants like U2, The Clash, The Smiths, Foo Fighters and Franz Ferdinand, while smaller venues throughout the city are ideal for discovering the next up-and-coming rock band.
This West African country is the home of a very special folk/jazz fusion. The festival in the desert in Timbuktu was a center for African music, but was closed due to the insecurity in northern Mali. The music scene has now largely shifted to Bamako – almost every evening, for example, the Grammy-winning Toumani Diabaté can be seen at Le Diplomate.
7. electronic music
Vienna has long been the capital of classical music and has shaped the careers of legends like Mozart and Beethoven. Today, classical music lovers can enjoy the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the Musikverein, one of the world’s great music halls. Vienna also boasts a thriving electronic music scene for those with more modern tastes.
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul, live music is not just for professionals. Karaoke, or Noraebang, offers private singing rooms where groups of friends can perform their favorite songs. To see the professionals play, Seoul has many jazz clubs and venues with rock, alternative and, of course, K-pop.
9th Mecca of the music festival
Coachella already ticked off? Adelaide, another UNESCO World City of Music, is known for music festivals of all genres from rock to alternative to folk. The traveling FOMO festival attracts huge crowds to see hip-hop artists in the beautiful city and across the country.
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