Jacksonville – The Perfect Destination for Music Lovers

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Florida is many things to many people. Beach people. Food people. Adventure people. But what I didn’t realize is that Florida is a great place for music people. In particular, the city of Jacksonville is the perfect destination for music lovers. Jacksonville has a deep pool of music history that thrives today, drawing visitors from all over the world. If your soul stirs at the beat of the drum, the strum of a guitar, or the blow of a horn, you need to get to Jacksonville!

Before I dive into where you can enjoy the great music scene in town, you might also be aware that Jacksonville has a big community. It’s home to the Jaguars, the Gators and NASCAR. As for accommodations, look no further than IHG hotels near Everbank Field, to be close to the sports action and you’ll find yourself close to lots of music venues as well.

Jacksonville Jazz

Jacksonville - The Perfect Destination for Music Lovers - Jazz
Image via Flickr by Fabrice Plas.

Jacksonville’s annual jazz festival is the second largest in the United States. Taking place over a weekend in May, this event celebrates one of the only music genres that is undisputedly American. Jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong delighted crowds every week in Jacksonville’s Ritz Theater, built in 1929. The art deco theater still stands today with its original sign sticking out of the northwest corner of the building.

When it comes to seeing live jazz, there are a plethora of club and bar choices in Jacksonville. Check out a jam session at Jazzland Cafe (1324 University Blvd N.) or try to catch local legend Gary Starling playing a gig. The jazz scene is alive and well and can be experienced any night of the week.

You can keep up with live performance schedules in Jacksonville by checking out Live Music Maven. Use it when planning your music-filled journey.

The Original House of Blues

Jacksonville - The Perfect Destination for Music Lovers
Image via Flickr by srietzke.

The first published story about “The Blues” was reported after the April 16, 1910, performance by ventriloquist comedian-turned-singer John W. F. Woods after he played in LaVilla. The LaVilla neighborhood was the first annexed suburb in Jacksonville and was considered to be a “mecca for African-American culture and heritage.” The blues tradition continues today with an annual Springing the Blues Festival, one of the largest blues festivals in the country.

Outside of this event, there are over a dozen blues bar in Jacksonville to take in this deeply expressive music genre. To combine some of the city’s best barbecue with live music, don’t miss a meal at MOJO Kitchen, BBQ Pit & Blues Bar (1500 Beach Blvd.). The burnt ends BBQ blue burger, onion rings, and mac and cheese is a fan favorite.

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll…and Blues

Jacksonville – The Perfect Destination for Music Lovers
Image via Flickr by Desmond Howl.

Of course, if you are looking for a little something more modern, then how about a little southern rock? Southern rock is described as a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll with some blues thrown in. Southern rock legends The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd (although originally called The Pretty Ones) bands were formed in Jacksonville in 1969. These bands are still considered the greatest when it comes to this genre of music that will never die.

Jacksonville has many great venues to see local cover bands playing all the classics. Fans also have an annual festival which takes place in September. Although the best part may be the slow-cooked pig roasts that are part of the event.

If music is in your soul, then Jacksonville is where you need to worship; it’s the perfect destination for music lovers.

How about you? Have you enjoyed music (or something else) in Jacksonville? Do share! Are you now inspired to visit Jacksonville to check out their music scene? Do tell!

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32 Comments

  1. Linda Manns Linneman
    July 11, 2017

    I really enjoy good music. I lived in Sarasota Florida for many years and yet never visited this area for any length of time. This sounds awesome. I will have to put this on my bucket list. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

    Reply
  2. robin rue
    July 11, 2017

    I have never been to Jacksonville before. It sounds like a really up and coming place to visit.

    Reply
  3. Marcie W.
    July 11, 2017

    I have yet to visit Jacksonville, but never turn down a waterfront destination. I had no idea the city had such a big music scene and consider that a huge bonus!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Marcie, beach during the day, club a night – perfect combo!

      Reply
  4. Heather Johnson
    July 11, 2017

    I have only ever been to the western tip of Florida. I would love to explore the state more!

    Reply
  5. Joline
    July 11, 2017

    I didn’t realize Jacksonville was such a hotspot for jazz and blues fans! Very cool. We must plan a trip there.

    Reply
  6. Neely Moldovan
    July 11, 2017

    I have never been to jacksonville but it sounds amazing. I may have to talk to the hubs about this!

    Reply
  7. Emily Smith
    July 11, 2017

    It’s always a great experience to enjoy music in new venues and different cities! Jacksonville sounds like a great spot to discover the music scene.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Emily, I don’t actively seek out music destinations, but this one has so much!

      Reply
  8. Liz Mays
    July 11, 2017

    I didn’t know Jacksonville had such a history with blues! Very cool. I’d love to check out some jazz performances there and maybe attend the Jazz festival.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Liz, it was surprised to discover this as well. I always thought of it as a sports town.

      Reply
  9. Nellie Blazina
    July 11, 2017

    I love Jacksonville. Hope to go visit again. Thanks for the fun info.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Nellie, so glad to hear and that you confirm!

      Reply
  10. Annemarie LeBlanc
    July 13, 2017

    Jazz music is the best to listen to when you want to relax. I love going into a place where they play live jazz music. I have not been to Jacksonville in a long time but if I get the chance, I’d be right inside a restaurant and enjoy good food and great music.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @AnneMarie, it is a great spot for jazz, the festival is probably not as relaxing as a night out at a club…

      Reply
  11. Tammy Catterton
    July 22, 2017

    I use to live near Jacksonville I wish I had explore it more .

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Tammy, I did the same the first time I lived near San Francisco. I moved away and when I returned 3 years later I made a promise to expplore my own backyard more.

      Reply
  12. Esperanza Garcia
    July 22, 2017

    Just want to say Jacksonville was my first stop that my ex and I made and we had a beautiful time there. I will always cherish those memories!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Esperanza, I’m so glad that I could trigger your wonderful memories!

      Reply
  13. shannon fowler
    July 23, 2017

    My friend is moving there and hasn’t been that excited about it. Ill have to share this post with her.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Shannon, I hope she feels better about the move!

      Reply
  14. Valerie lerma
    July 24, 2017

    sounds like a great adventure

    Reply
  15. Adriane
    July 24, 2017

    Never been to Jacksonville, but I’d like to visit!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Adriane, it’s a great spot!

      Reply
  16. Kayleigh Watkins
    July 24, 2017

    It sounds wonderful and if ever I visit from the UK I’ll be sure to check it out xx

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      July 25, 2017

      @Kayleigh, Florida is a popular spot for Europeans, so you just may get a chance one day!

      Reply
  17. Trish F
    July 29, 2017

    I did not know this about Jacksonvill. Always have heard about Austin and of course Nashville and Memphis, but I didn’t know Florida had it’s own music city. Thanks for telling us about it.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Trish, I’m glad I could bring it to your attention!

      Reply
  18. […] your continued support of my partnership with IHG Hotels, my latest posts were tacos in El Paso and music in Jacksonville – comments or social shares are greatly […]

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  19. Krista M
    July 31, 2017

    Lots of great music to feed the soul! I have never yet travelled to Jacksonville but would be a great musical experience.

    Reply
  20. kathy downey
    August 3, 2017

    Never been to Jacksonville before but i grew up with music and it played an important part of my life!

    Reply
  21. Calvin F.
    August 29, 2017

    Never knew it was a place of music.

    Reply

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