By: Christiana Lilly
Where to listen to live music in Miami.
No matter what part of the Magic City you visit, there’s almost always a live band playing for an eclectic and international audience.
And throughout the year, Miami hosts world-class music festivals, offering even more opportunities to catch your favorite musicians or discover new ones. Each February, Little Havana comes to life with the annual return of Calle Ocho, a 23-block festival of hip hop, Latin, and reggae music. Ultra Music Festival and the Winter Music Conference flood the city with electronic music, events and artists each March. For lovers of jazz, R&B and soul, Jazz in the Gardens brings some of the biggest names to Sun Life stadium in Miami Gardens each spring.
Here’s a round-up of top-notch venues divided by neighborhood:
Miami’s hub for all things nightlife, South Beach is a great place for music lovers. Here, you’ll find the legendary Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive. A vibrant bar featuring lively dancers with colorful costumes, Mango’s is open until the wee hours of the morning, every night of the week. The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater is a popular concert venue that brings both national acts and local singer-songwriters to the stage.
Sway to the sounds of live jazz at Jazid, a cozy venue located along the Washington Avenue strip. Featuring live music nightly, acts include mostly local jazz artists and bands, although other musicians specializing in genres like funk/soul, R&B and reggae also find their way to the stage.
Miami Beach’s hotels also provide a wide variety of musical entertainment. The iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hosts their regular Bleau Live concert series, featuring some of the biggest acts of the year. Or head to Lapidus Lounge, at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, where you can experience a more laid-back lounge music scene.
Downtown presents both a mix of traditional live music venues and cool underground, warehouse types of venues. Head to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to listen to a wide variety of acts, including famed musicians, symphonies, orchestras and bands. Home of the Miami HEAT, AmericanAirlines Arena also serves as a popular stop off for Top 40 musicians and well-known bands on tour. For more live music with local flavor, head to Grand Central for hometown sounds and tunes from underground bands.
Wynwood & the Design District
For a wide range of acts, including house and electronic music, check out the Electric Pickle or Bardot. The eclectic Gramps hosts plenty of community events, comedy nights, and movie screenings alongside their music nights. The Stage features open mic nights, rappers, rock bands, DJs, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Lagniappe brings the New Orleans-style party outside with live music every single night, bringing the Crescent City vibes to Miami.
Little Havana is a hotbed of live Latin music, thanks to venues like Hoy Como Ayer. Set on Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main thoroughfare, the club features both local musicians like Palo! along with touring acts for a night of authentic Cuban and Latin beats that anyone can enjoy. Former stomping grounds for jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Ball and Chain offers up a mix from Latin to jazz and everything in between.
Churchill’s Pub (you can’t miss the giant Union Jack out front) has been a mainstay for rock music since the 1970s, and Sweat Records plays host to a constant flow of local record release parties and special shows.
The Biltmore Bar, located in the historic Biltmore Hotel, offers light bossa nova and jazz tunes to complement its menu of martinis and handcrafted cocktails. Another old favorite is Bougainvillea, featuring different music every night with live reggae bands and local jam bands.
Miami Live Month
Visit Miami in November and take advantage of special musical performances in honor of Miami Live Month. Whether you're into house, hip-hop, jazz or Latin, Miami has a live music venue for you.
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