Singing along in Nashville is not normally discouraged! In fact, for music fans, it's one of the best reasons to visit Music City, and there are any number of music venues for enthusiastic fans to sing along, clap hands, dance or simply enjoy the beat. To its credit, the city also embraces more than country music, so if classic sonatas or opera are more your style, they're readily available.
While a visitor to Music City can find live music being performed in bars and restaurants, on street corners and parks, and in smaller clubs throughout the city, it's the concert halls and big stages that attract visitors in record numbers to experience the thrill of top-name performers and the latest hits.
The Best Music Venues in Nashville TN
No trip to Nashville is complete without a trip to one of the best music venues in the city. Check out these Tennessee music venues to find the best musical experiences you won't want to miss.
The musical "gold standard" in Nashville is this original home of the Grand Ole Opry. During its 125-year history, it has been remodeled and modernized, but it still almost "oozes" history and the original church pew seating has been retained. For big name entertainment, and the best acoustics in the city, head to the Ryman Auditorium!
Layla's Bluegrass Inn
One of the better honky tonks that still resides in the area of Nashville once known as "Honky Tonk Row" is Layla’s Bluegrass Inn. Layla’s is a saloon that offers bluegrass, hillbilly, “rockabilly,” western and new grass music. Several well known performers have taken the stage at Layla’s: Hank William III, Shackshakers, Gail Davies, Chris Scruggs and Ralph Stanley. The saloon offers excellent music and free admission—an unbeatable combination!
Tootsies Orchid Lounge
The other Nashville staple on Broadway Nashville's former Honky Tonk Row is Tootsies Orchid Lounge. This is a favorite among all the locals, and you'll often catch performers from the Ryman popping in for a quick break in between shows, or even just to savor the atmoshphere of this Nashville musical institution.
The Nashville Symphony and Schermerhorm Symphony Center
Offering a full schedule of concerts, along with an active calendar of special events, exhibits and community education programs, the Nashville Symphony is another popular music venue in Nashville. The Nashville Symphony sponsors a series of free chamber music concerts, the noted Accelerando Music Education Program to train young musicians, and an Emmy Award-winning discography series.
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home to the Grammy award-winning Nashville Symphony and provides a great place to take in a show. The growing center has earned a reputation that exceeds the United States with plenty of innovative programs. The orchestra plays a variety of concerts throughout the year and many special events are held at the center.
Along with the many concerts and other events, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center provides education to the community through programs including:
- Young People's Concerts - Free concerts for specific grade levels.
- Curb Open Dress Rehearsals - Perfect for students in grade three and above.
- Ensembles in the Schools - School programs targeted at specific grade levels.
- Youth Symphonies
- Curb Youth Symphony
- Curb Concerto Competition
- Community Engagement Programs for the Public
- And More!
All the programs are tailored for delivering education to a specific group or grade level.
With a new season starting in September, it's the perfect time to get your season tickets for the 2013-2014 season. You can choose packages with up to seven concerts includes and receive a 20% discount on all other events. Other packages include between three and six concerts and those packages come with a 10% discount on other events.
Other season ticket benefits include free parking, exclusive events, discounts on dining and drinks, priority seating, dedicated Patron Services Specialist and more. Payment plans are available for ticket packages.
Nashville Jazz Orchestra at the Commodore Grill
Those who like a “big band sound” and jazz should check out the Nashville Jazz Orchestra at the Commodore Grill. The Grill is located in the Nashville-Vanderbilt Holiday Inn. This eighteen-piece band performs jazz selections every Monday night. Food and drinks are available for purchase.
The Wildhorse Saloon
For those who enjoy audience participation, the Wildhorse Saloon features country music and good southern food. Many patrons line-dance to the music until the early morning hours. The television show “Most Wanted Live” tapes its country music program here, so fans of the show shouldn't miss it.
Nashville's Classic Club: 3rd and Lindsley
This is perhaps the "one size fits all" venue in a city of diverse music attractions. Its office park location provides few clues: With a close-to-the-stage open pit where exuberant fans can get (almost) as wild as they please during a performance, this large club is a two-level concert hall. There is impeccable food and drink service for concert fans who prefer their music served in comfortable surroundings. The food is tasty, prices are reasonable, and the sound is great; all good reasons why 3rd and Lindsley has grown from its beginnings as a little bar with a tiny stage.
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, this young venue is already a favorite. Ascend Amphitheater's convenient location in the midst of the shopping and dining district also boasts abundant parking and a superb view of the city skyline. The sound quality and outstanding design are also exemplary. It provided a backup stage for the CMA Music Awards in 2017, to the delight of thousands of fans, and all indications are that it will become a favorite outdoor performance hall.
The Grand Ole Opry
No discussion of Nashville music is complete without a mention of the Grand Ole Opry. One of the most famous musical venues in Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry has a rich history that has colored the culture of Nashville since its inception.
The Grand Ole Opry was once a place to sell insurance and today is one of the best country music radio shows in history. It opened in 1901 when states deputy insurance commissioner C.A. Craig won the National sick Accident and Insurance Company at auction before renaming it the National Life and Accident Insurance Company. The company today is owned by Gaylord Entertainment and is going strong. Here is a look at the full history behind the Grand Ole Opry of Nashville.
Over the years, most of the great country and western stars of our times have performed at the Opry. In the 1950’s, there was Hank Williams (the King of Country Music), Roy Acuff, Red Foley, Kitty Wells, Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, and Bill Monroe. The great Marty Robbins was a cast member at the Opry his whole life. His music not only made the country and western charts, but regularly made the pop charts as well. Greats like Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Garth Brooks have also played at the Opry. Today, younger performers like Trace Adkins and Brad Paisley still pay “homage” by appearing on the Opry stage.
One of the reasons the residents of Nashville consider their city so special is because the Opry is there. It’s possible to see performances by “the greats” of country and western music all year long. A nice meal followed by a few hours at the Opry—what could be better? Audience members never seem to tire of the traditions of the Opry.
Marathon Music Works
With a seating capacity of 1,500, this venue stages musicians who perform music from a wide variety of diverse genres, but it remains a favorite for heavy metal acts that have few other places to perform today in Music City USA. For this reason, and because it is a classic performance hall, it has earned a spot in the hearts of local music—both fans and touring performers.
A bright new home at the Nora Liff Opera Center, and a schedule that brings opera education and classic performances to students throughout the area are just two of the exciting aspects of this unique venue. It can also be rented and transformed into an event center to showcase other creative endeavors.
Legends Corner is known as the home of legendary country music. It's a top music venue in Nashville with plenty to offer guests. Here's what you can expect when you come to Legends Corner.
There are many honky-tonks in the downtown Broadway area and Legends Corner is one of the most popular. It's a great place to enjoy country music and more than just covers from some local bands. The prominent location draws many, along with the excellent dance floor. You will find both locals and visitors throughout.
Many top artists have played at Legends Corner including:
- Darrius Rucker
- Kid Rock
- Jamey Johnson
- David Nail
- Toby Keith
- Luke Bryan
- James Otto
- Eric Church
- And Many More!
They have also been the home for the Carl Black Party, American Idol Auditions and many other huge parties.
There's never a cover charge, and after 6pm, the honky-tonk becomes a 21-and-up bar. Before 6pm, anybody can come and enjoy the fun. You can come out and dance, enjoy the many country music records all over the walls or just stop in for a drink. No matter why you show up at Legends Corner, you’re sure to have a great time.
Legends Corner is found at 428 Broadway in Nashville. It's a very convenient location to many other top attractions throughout the city. They are open from 10am to 3am every single day of the week.
The Bluebird Cafê
If you want to hang out with the true country music aficionados, then the Bluebird Café should be your nightspot of choice. This café is where the serious writers of country music songs come to listen to the music of others and hear their own songs performed. It’s necessary to buy food to sit at a table, and be sure to get there early as each show always sells out. Every five months or so, the owner of the café auditions country songwriters for a chance to win one of the coveted Sunday Night Writer’s Slots. Many executives from record companies attend these Sunday night sessions to look for the “next big name.”
It’s obvious that Nashville has some of the best musical nightlife in this part of the United States. Evenings never have to be boring in Nashville!
The Musical History of Nashville
One of Nashville, Tennessee’s most attractive qualities is it’s rich history in the music world. With a wide variety of genres in it’s background, Nashville is the perfect place for the music lover. A lot of Nashville’s music history is due to the strong African-American influences in the past. So many well known musicians have come from, lived in, or had great influence in the city of Nashville, making it one of the musical hot spots in the country. Everyone knows it as the capital of country music, but Nashville has offered the world so much more than banjos and acoustic guitars.
The best known name tied to Nashville’s history in music is Elvis Presley. Although he wan’t born in Nashville, he made countless visits and had significant influences on the city’s music history. He was the most famous man in the world for a long time, and since Nashville was said to be his favorite city in the world, one can imagine the influence he gave Nashville’s music scene, along with the influence it gave him.
Another high point of Nashville’s music history is the huge influence of the jazz movement that took place here. Not only was their an enormous focus on jazz in the past in Nashville, but it still exists today. With places like F. Scott’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar and the Jazz Workshop, there is still a large jazz scene in the city. However, the thing that Nashville, Tennessee is best known for is its being the capitol of the country music world.
Being that it is the location of the Country Music Hall of Fame, many of the biggest names in country music have come from this influential city. It is where country music began and it’s influence in the genre today holds strong. Some of the most famous names that came out of Nashville are the Allman Brothers, Hank Williams, and Liz Kilgo. Many country singers reference Nashville as being their home, due to the huge influence the city has in the world of country music.
So, for those who love the world of music, finding real estate in Nashville is a good choice. The rich musical history of the city along with the current musical influence it has on the world is enough to provide for any music lover’s needs. Nashville’s history is rich in the music world, and it’s musical influence will live on for a long while.
No matter what you expect from the music scene in Nashville, you are sure to find it—and there is a whole lot more to discover. All it takes is a pair of open eyes and the ability to listen!
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