Legendary journey through the ten cities of the States that have made music history

From Detroit to West Hollywood, Visit The USA turns the spotlight on the must-see American destinations of the new Hear The Music campaign

Rock, Motown, Blues and much more: the United States has a legendary musical history. From the sunny city of Miami, to the street parties of New Orleans, to a session of bluegrass and bourbon in Owensboro, Kentucky, the States have always been home to people who live and breathe good music.

Visit The USA’s new “Hear The Music” campaign puts the spotlight on the wide variety of musical experiences that can be experienced in the States, offering original video content dedicated to the ten American cities that have made music history, available on the website www.visittheusa.com/music and the new GoUSA TV app. By downloading the app for iOS and Android devices, travelers can browse authentic, on-demand multimedia content to preview the people and places that animate American music cities, retrace the history of music genres in interactive museums or watch emerging artists perform live in bars.

Here are the 10 cities where travelers can dance to salsa, go wild to the beat of blues or techno and listen to the music that makes the United States such a lively and attractive music destination.

1) Austin, Texas

Not surprisingly, the city that hosts the famous South by Southwest Music and Film Festival and the Austin City Limits, one of the world’s most popular music festivals, is home to some of the coolest music experiences in the United States. During a trip to Austin, music lovers can visit some of the 270 places to listen to good music, including the Continental Club, a real institution for live music on the crest of the wave for 60 years. Local legends such as Dale Watson and his Lone Stars perform here every Monday night, and those coming from outside the city can buy tickets at the entrance and enjoy an unforgettable evening. During the day, take a walk along the Colorado River, where you can photograph the statue of blues guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and then head to Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon to join the life of the taverns and drink cold beer. The White Horse is also an iconic country venue, where locals help tourists improve their Texas twostep with free dance classes, accompanied by live bands.

2) Chicago, Illinois

The city where he was born modern blues has a lot to offer to music lovers, both for those looking for places to listen to live music and for those who prefer a walk in the museums. The Chicago Blues Experience, scheduled to open in 2020, will take visitors on a walk through interactive displays and memorabilia to discover the pioneers of blues music who have influenced the genre. For a more contemporary experience, travelers can’t miss a visit to the city’s many blues clubs. Chicago Blues is a musical style that has developed from African-American migrations from the South to the Midwest: at Blue Chicago you can listen to it live seven nights a week, while at Buddy Guy’s Legends, a noisy and lively bar, locals and international artists perform in front of lovers of the genre. For some daytime musical fun, until July 28, 2019, the Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music exhibition explores Chicago’s musical heritage through ragtime, jazz and blues.

3) Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is home to two types of music: Motown and Techno. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Motown Records label, now home to the Motown Museum. For all fans of great performers such as The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, just to name a few, a walk through rare pieces and memorable objects is a fun way to retrace the history of music and the rise of the great stars. Motor City was also the cradle of techno music: today the Movement Festival, scheduled for the weekend of Memorial Day from 25 to 27 May 2019, is the most popular place to listen to it. For the perfect mix of music and architecture, a concert at The Masonic, the world’s largest Masonic temple, is an unbeatable experience.

4) Jackson, Mississippi

With a quote like “City of Soul”, it’s no surprise that Jackson, in Mississippi, is one of the most famous music destinations in the United States. City dwellers have a passion for live music and occasional visitors can’t miss the opportunity to join them at the Frank Jones Club, where live blues is played every Friday and Saturday and food is served until 4am to keep the audience loaded. For a blues-inspired trip, fans of the genre can jump in the car towards the Blue Front Cafe in Bentoni: in its heyday the place was famous for its buffalo fish, blues and moonshine whiskey, while today it is a bit of a ruined place, perfect for listening to the authentic blues. Back in the city, the Fondren district is the perfect place to discover the music of emerging artists or visit independent boutiques, coffee shops and bars.

5) Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas can satisfy every musical desire, whether visitors want to hear Celine Dion perform one song after another at Caesars Palace, or whether they prefer to see the world’s greatest DJs, such as Calvin Harris and David Guetta, go wild all day at a pool party. In addition to the huge lights and hotels, downtown Las Vegas is also home to some of America’s most famous rock sanctuaries, including the Double Down Saloon, a bar for rock and punk fans, and the Beauty Bar, where Imagine Dragons used to play in their early days. To appreciate the rich and fascinating history of Las Vegas, when in the 1950s artists of the calibre of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sang at Strip venues, a must-see stop is the Golden Steer steakhouse, where Sinatra had a fixed table, or the Tropicana, where Rat Pack was a regular.

6) Miami, Florida

Miami offers everything you need for a typical American holiday under the sign of the sun and the joy of living, but in addition to the beach, there is more: it is a city with an incredible Latin musical environment, where locals dance to salsa and samba all night long. Little Havana’s Ball & Chain, an ancient music hall that in the 1950s saw the likes of Count Basie and Billie Holiday perform, is well worth a visit. Today it’s a sophisticated place where mojitos are served and DJs play Latin, salsa and jazz. Near Hoy Como Ayer, you can listen to everything from soul singers to seven-piece ensembles, complete with salsa and rumba. For an authentic taste of Miami’s music, visitors can’t miss the Latin funk on Thursday night, which continues until the early hours of the morning. For a more energetic rock club, Churchill’s Pub is the address to mark on the agenda, which holds the world record for the number of performances hosted in a single venue.

7) Minneapolis, Minnesota

The environment of Minneapolis, the capital of Minnesota, is characterized by noisy rock bars and very relaxed locals. If there are plenty of clubs in town to entertain music lovers over a long weekend – from the Cedar Cultural Center to the bustling Cabooze – no visit is complete unless you follow in the footsteps of Minneapolis hero Prince. A good starting point is a tour around Paisley Park, the artist’s home. Inside the huge 65,000-square-meter building, visitors can explore his first home, complete with nightclubs and recording studios. In the twin city of St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center’s First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom exhibition opens on May 4, 2019. The former disco, built inside the Greyhound Bus Terminal, became an internationally renowned venue when Prince recorded Purple Rain there. The exhibition presents the history of the venue and includes an original suit worn by Prince during the recordings. To add an extra touch to the visit, a tour of the recording studios or the city’s breweries is available, serving artisan beer strictly accompanied by live music.

(8) New Orleans, Louisiana

Music, food and history meet in the largest city in the South, New Orleans. Here, where jazz was born, a must for tourists is the New Orleans Jazz Museum, which celebrates the history of music in all its forms and also offers yoga and jazz classes in its gallery. Alternatively, you can explore the milestones of the music genre on a Jazz History Tour. Beyond history, much of the pleasure of traveling around here is simply walking through the streets, where brass bands gather to give pedestrians impromptu concerts, or having fun in one of the world-famous bars, such as the charming Spotted Cat. Whatever your musical preferences, the pleasant musical atmosphere of New Orleans will make all travelers feel at home.

9) Owensboro, Kentucky

For an exciting combination of barbecue, bourbon and bluegrass, those planning a trip to the United States can’t miss Owensboro, a riverside city located in Kentucky about 100 miles southwest of Louisville. The destination off the beaten track, lives and breathes bluegrass and as The Wooks, a group from this area, say, “bluegrass music is more than just a genre: it’s a lifestyle, a community, a family. To see banjos, violins and mandolins in action, visitors are invited to visit the state’s largest bluegrass gathering, the Romp Festival, scheduled for June 26-29 or listen to music as you watch the sunset at Friday After 5, a series of summer concerts that will take place from May 17 to 30. Meanwhile, the all-new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum pays tribute to Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass who grew up in the nearby hamlet of Rosine.

10) West Hollywood, California

For decades aspiring musicians have moved to West Hollywood California, a neighborhood that has seen some of the world’s greatest stars stroll through its streets and is home to some of America’s music sanctuaries. Visitors can relive the atmosphere of the place with a Rock ‘N Walk & Jogging tour, an opportunity to get to know the area with Jon D’Amico, a former rock star resident at the Sunset Strip. Then you can go and discover the famous music venues of West Hollywood: The Troubadour, where Elton John walked the stage in his early days, Whiskey A Go Go, which hosted The Doors, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin, The Roxy, an intimate place where visitors can listen to emerging artists and see celebrities, the Viper Room, the dark and vibrant place that hosted all the greats, from Oasis to Tom Petty and Heartbreakers. For the night, we recommend a stop in the nearby Andaz West Hollywood, the first hotel on the Sunset Strip that has long been a favorite choice of legendary rock musicians.

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