Virginia’s music scene boasts a variety of different genres such as bluegrass, country, gospel, R&B, rock and roll, jazz, folk, and more. Learn about the Commonwealth's rich music heritage from The Crooked Road in Southwest Virginia to Hip Hop in Hampton Roads. Diverse music venues ranging from historic concert halls to small intimate settings, provide music lovers across the state with hundreds of performances a year by world-famous musicians.
Know before you go! Please wear a mask or face covering when indoors and observe Virginia’s current safety guidelines when you travel.
Hip Hop, R&B, Blues and Jazz
Enjoy the sounds of Hip Hop, R&B, and Jazz year round as the Commonwealth hosts music festivals highlighting great artists who bring out the soul and passion of their music. Night clubs around the state bring jazz, R&B, hip hop and more to listeners’ ears. The annual Richmond Jazz Festival brings more than 10,000 people to Maymont Park, while the Hampton Jazz Festival has been attracting the nation’s biggest fans and performers for live blues, soul, and jazz music for almost 50 years.
Bluegrass, Country, And Americana
The roots of American music run deep in Virginia.
The ultimate way to experience Bluegrass, Country and Old Time music in Virginia is to drive The Crooked Road — Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. This 333 mile route takes you to major music venues – as well as hidden gems, jams and festivals – throughout Southwest Virginia.
The Bristol 1927 Sessions are often considered the most important recordings in Country Music Heritage. However they also have strong influences in gospel, blues and what would become Bluegrass. Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Birthplace of Country Music, the Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center to fully immerse yourself or just get a taste of where the roots of these genres lie.
That’s what makes Virginia unique – finding the roots of your music scene through communities where music tradition is still alive through nightly shows, weekend festivals and even street jams where all are welcome to sing, sit and pick a tune or two with locals and new friends.
Rock And Alternative
Virginia is home to some of the greatest rock venues and festivals. The state capital, Richmond, has a trendy art and music scene that celebrates a multitude of diverse talent. Large venues such as The National and The Broadberry welcome various performers of all genres. Smaller spots host creative emerging bands, musicians, and local artists. Virginia Beach presents a different style music event every weekend — and the events are usually free — at oceanfront stages along the Boardwalk. And Northern Virginia’s proximity to Washington, D.C. brings many great artists to its venues.
Find your next classical music performance in Virginia.
Richmond - The Richmond Symphony, founded in 1957, offers a variety of performances ranging from classical to pop.
Charlottesville - The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra offers a five-concert series featuring masterworks of the orchestral repertoire on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at the University of Virginia's Cabel Hall Auditorium. Also in Charlottesville is the Ash Lawn Opera, an organization offering six to eight weeks of full-length opera and musical theatre productions.
Fairfax - The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1957 and presents a seven-concert series at George Mason University Center for the Arts.
Alexandria - The Alexandria Symphony was founded in 1954 and has established a reputation for thematic and inter-arts programming that features a mix of classical and contemporary music. Performances are at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center.
Warm Springs- The Garth Newel Music Center features chamber music in an intimate and informal setting. Enjoy more than 50 concerts a year at one of the most active chamber music organizations in the nation!
Roanoke - Opera Roanoke was founded in 1977. Performing in the newly renovated Shaftman Performance Hall of the Jefferson Center, English translations are projected right above the stage during performances! The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was founded in 1953 and offers a season of 11 concerts performed at the Jefferson Center.
Norfolk - Virginia Opera calls the Harrison Opera House "home," but performs at various venues around Virginia, too. The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, also in Norfolk, has been recognized as one of the nation's leading regional symphony orchestras. Additionally, The Virginia Opera was named "The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia". Virginia Opera performs at Norfolk's Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House, Richmond's Altria Theater, and George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax.
OTHER CONCERT VENUES
- Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center - in Roanoke
- Chrysler Hall at Scope Plaza - in Norfolk
- The American Theatre - in Hampton
- Shenandoah Summer Music Theater: Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre in Winchester