I know some of you can relate when I say that as soon as the holidays hit I am dreaming of places to travel. And now, as I find myself at the end of January, I’m still dreaming of that vacation. I always make it a point to experience new music or to see an artist that I love whenever I’m traveling to a new place. Recently, I’ve been really itching to make a trip to Europe and discover what musical treasures it has to offer. Below are some suggested places to visit to find your next incredible music experience.
Since the 19th century, Seattle has had a long and rich history of fueling society and urban culture. Most notably for the birth of grunge music, Seattle’s music scene has a surprisingly eclectic palette of musical genres that are sure to satisfy any musical flavor you could fancy. Famous artists and bands like Nirvana, Quincy Jones, The Shins, The Postal Service and The Wailers have all been associated with Seattle’s music scene.
Must see: Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) – offers an incredible array of creative experiences inspired by pop culture.
Birthplace of the Pixies, Aerosmith, Boston and James Taylor, the city of Boston’s music scene is a heavy influence on the rest of Massachusetts. Boston’s present music is still a rich and fertile breeding ground for new and influential music. Genres ranging from classical, folk, hip hop, jazz, R&B and rock can all be found here.
Must see: The Museum of Science – welcomes guests to immerse themselves in their interactive exhibits including musical stairs and particle mirror.
Passion for music is a fundamental component of Cuban history and culture. Musical genres first appeared through the 19th and 20th centuries. These included Punto Guajiro (Cuba’s country music), Rumba, Danzon and Son. From the original genres we see Mambo, Cha-Cha, Conga and Latin Jazz emerge after the 1930’s when Cuban musicians started to travel the world. For all of my music history geeks out there, the Cuban nation is also known for contributing heavily to musicological studies.
Must see: Vedado – retro and diverse neighborhood in Havana with cinemas, bars / clubs, theatres and many colorful characters to experience.
Berlin has been the heart of influencing music in both Germany and Europe. Germany’s musical culture has not only shaped the artistic community, but has contributed to a sizable part of Berlin’s economy. Touching various entertainment sectors like film, advertising, art, design, fashion, architecture, TV, radio and video games. Much like Havana, music floods the streets of Berlin. Genres range from garage rock, electronica and punk, to rockabilly and 50’s. Berlin is home to world renowned opera houses, major international music festivals (Lollapalooza Berlin, JazzFest Berlin) and one of the most diverse nightlife in all of Europe. Berlin’s musical atmosphere truly has something for everybody.
Must see: Open-air Karaoke in Mauerpark – park in north Berlin where you can grill and enjoy a large flea-market. On Sundays, there is also Karaoke offered in the Bearpit.
Bowie Berlin Walk – a fascinating walk through David Bowie’s Berlin, from Hansa Studios to Schoneberg.
If you’re into traditional Irish tunes, the remote west coast is where you want to immerse yourself in their powerful musical traditions, passed down through generations. Musical talent can be found in places like Galway (one of the larger cities in Ireland) as well as small villages. Doolin is considered the capital of traditional Irish music. But when one thinks of Ireland, usually your mind goes to some of the most influential musicians and bands in American music (like U2, The Cranberries, Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor to name a few). Exploring the streets of Ireland, with its home grown soundtrack playing in the background, may be exactly what you need to inspire you for your next film, TV series, song, or piece of artwork.
Must see: Róisín Dubh – the best-known spot for live music in west Ireland. It’s a great spot to get your fill on local acts, but also is a port for musicians visiting the city from all over the world.
Finding music and musical experiences that really move you is easy when you have an open mind and an adventurous spirit. In this industry, we focus so much on the daily grind and making our next dollar that often times we forget to sit back and soak up new experiences. As we move into a new year keep in mind that a little time out for discovery is not only good for you once in a while, but it’s a necessity to longevity in this business.