Live Music Venues in Tennessee – Jazz, Gospel & Classical
From Memphis blues to Appalachian bluegrass, from country superstars to cool jazz, from soaring symphony to rowdy rock, to Tennessee's deep gospel roots, Tennessee’s live music venues can rock your world.
Live Jazz Music Venues in Tennessee
In Memphis, there's good food and smooth jazz to be had at King's Palace Café on Beale. There's a dedicated jazz fan base in Memphis, and most of them know to check in with the Memphis Jazz Foundation for area concerts and jazz-related events.
The Nashville Jazz Workshop is an excellent source of all things jazz, including concerts, radio shows and classes on everything from Jazz in the Movies to composition. Stillwaters Café, 1207 Jefferson St. has live jazz at lunch four days a week, and Jazz Workshop artists appear regularly at Edgehill Studios Café, corner of Edgehill & Villa Place, and Café Coco, 210 Louise Ave.
Heading east, stop in Knoxville at the elegant Baker Peters Jazz Club, in an historic mansion at 9000 Kingston Pike, where you can hear several excellent jazz groups, including some of impressive names from the University of Tennessee's outstanding jazz program. The 4620 Jazz Club, named for its address on Kingston Pike, has live music five nights a week in its underground venue.
In Chattanooga, relax to some smooth sounds at Rhythm and Brews or Blue Orleans. For upscale dining with your music, try the Palms at Hamilton or Table 2. While you're in town, find out who's playing at the eclectic Barking Legs Theater. If you're in town the first weekend in May, don't miss the Chattanooga Traditional Jazz Festival held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn – nothin' could be finer!
Live Gospel Music Venues in Tennessee
For a jolt of scintillating, soulful gospel, start in Memphis at the Full Gospel Tabernacle, the small Pentecostal church led by the most famous singing pastor in America, the Rev. Al Green. When Green is not on tour singing his secular hits, he's front and center with the Tabernacle's choir twice each Sunday.
For more traditional southern gospel, take in the Triumphant Quartet live at the Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge. Just down the road, inside Dollywood, you can visit the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum or, if you're there in October, hear renowned gospel groups like the Browns and the Kingdom Heirs performing at the National Gospel and Harvest Celebration.
If you're in the Nashville area, there is always a moving gospel performance on the calendar. Check out the Grand Ole Opry and other Nashville area venues to see who's coming. And anytime the Fisk Jubilee Singers are nearby, be sure to get in line for beautiful, soulful gospel from this world-famous group.
Live Classical Music Venues in Tennessee
If grand is your goal, start with the Memphis Opera, which performs a wide array of musical adventures, from Scott Joplin's Treemonisha to Faust, in the restored Orpheum Theatre.
Or Knoxville's Symphony Orchestra, with its home base in the beautiful historic Tennessee Theatre. The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the first combined professional resident symphony and opera company in the nation, offers series of masterworks, opera, pops, and chamber music.
For a more intimate experience, visit Lipscomb University in Nashville, where the music department is noted for a cappella, chamber, classical, and jazz performances and offers an Artist Series and ensemble performances in early music genres. Orchestra Nashville, one of America's premiere chamber orchestras, specialises in crossing musical boundaries and presenting both masterworks and newly commissioned works by American composers.
The Knoxville Opera offers traditional opera fare as well as quirky events like a Halloween spectacular with performances from some of opera's scariest roles. The company also sponsors the Rossini Festival, an Italian street fair combining world-class opera performances with food, wine and fun.