Music

Portland’s musical offerings are diverse as the city itself, with options including indie rock, jazz, classical, pop and more.

Home to indie darlings and internationally acclaimed artists alike (think Pink Martini, Esperanza Spalding, The Decemberists, The Shins and Elliot Smith), Portland is a haven for music lovers. Visitors can explore the city’s dozens of live music venues or take the stage themselves at one of Portland’s many open mic nights. Read on for our guide to the city’s thriving music scene, then head to our events calendar to discover upcoming music events in Portland.

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You’re currently viewing a page featuring a selection of events. To find even more things to do in Portland, visit our full calendar, which you can search by date and event type.

Music Events in Portland

Portland overflows year-round with live shows, festivals and music-centered things to do.

Classical Music in Portland

Portland's opera, symphony and other companies offer an ongoing lineup of inspiring performances, from timeless works to modern interpretations.

5 to try

Live Music Venues

These five venues showcase some of the best live music in each of the city's five quadrants.

  • Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

    This grand Italian rococo theater is a historic building and performing arts center whose Broadway marquee is crowned by a 65-foot-high “Portland” sign illuminated with 6,000 lights.

  • Mississippi Studios & Bar Bar

    Located in Portland’s historic Mississippi District, Mississippi Studios and Bar Bar is an acclaimed former Baptist church turned recording studio turned music venue (and home of great burgers).

  • Wonder Ballroom

    The wooden floors and cozy quarters of this 1914 restored building offer an intimate setting for a variety of artists, ranging from metal and hardcore to indie, pop and beyond.

  • McMenamins Crystal Ballroom

    See shows of every genre at this historic venue, which boasts vaulted ceilings, grand chandeliers and a famous “floating” dance floor. Downstairs, Lola’s Room hosts smaller shows while Ringlers Pub serves McMenamins ales and pub fare.

  • Doug Fir Restaurant, Bar & Lounge

    East Burnside’s iconic Doug Fir is known for live shows in the lounge downstairs, hearty brunch and generous dinner plates enjoyed in the mid-century meets log-cabin dining room.

Free Live Music and Comedy in Portland

Discover a new favorite comic or musician at Portland's free concerts and comedy nights, scattered across the city and scheduled throughout the week.

Local Musicians

Check out these up-and-coming musicians making a name for themselves in Portland.

The New Class of the Portland R&B Scene

A new generation of artists is attracting more light to the Portland R&B scene than ever before.

The Portland Hip-Hop Scene

Take a deep dive into the past, present and future of Portland's hip-hop scene with our expert guide to the best performers, showcases, stores and more.

Meet Queer Indigenous Musician, Black Belt Eagle Scout

Portland artist Katherine Paul draws inspiration from the riot grrrl movement, Nirvana and her Swinomish roots.

Niche Live Music Venues in Portland

These hidden gems are havens for jazz, punk, bluegrass, funk and more.

Upcoming Music Picks

Editor's Pick
PDX Jazz Festival
Feb. 20–Mar. 1, 2020

PDX Jazz Festival

Various venues

The Portland Jazz Festival returns every February with a stellar series of concerts and events celebrating Black History Month.

Editor's Pick
African American
Cultural Communities
Events
Festivals
Music
Editor's Pick
Our Bold Voices Presents: Igniting Voices
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

Our Bold Voices Presents: Igniting Voices

Eliot Center Sliding Scale $0 – $35

Celebrating trans and non-binary lives through story and song. All are welcome. ASL interpretation will be provided, complimentary light refreshments served, night market to follow. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

Editor's Pick
LGBTQ+
Music
Readings & Talks
Editor's Pick
Brazilian Carnaval Ball: Infinite Light
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

Brazilian Carnaval Ball: Infinite Light

McMenamins Crystal Ballroom $10-$45

Celebrate Portland’s annual Brazilian Carnaval Ball. The theme for 2020 is Infinite Light, and this year is the first time that the event will be celebrated at the Crystal Ballroom and as an all-ages event. Kids welcome! Presenting: Bloco Alegria – Authentic Rio Drums Carnaval BandMandela Dance – Presenting and teaching Funk Carioca & AxéMaracatu…

Editor's Pick
For Kids
Music
Nightlife
Editor's Pick
Shostakovich’s Eleventh
Feb. 22–24, 2020

Shostakovich’s Eleventh

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall $24

Concertmaster Sarah Kwak takes center stage in opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s sensuous and expressive Violin Concerto. Dmitri Shostakovich’s cinematic Eleventh Symphony depicts the struggle and drama of the Russian Revolution of 1905 in vivid detail. “These concerts feature a pair of mid-century compositions: an American violin concerto and a Russian symphony. Oregon Symphony concertmaster…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Aladdin Theater $35

For over 50 years, South Africa’s four-time Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. With a deep respect for both their cultural and personal history, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is ever-evolving with an eye toward their long musical…

Editor's Pick
Black History Month
Cultural Communities
Music
Nightlife
Editor's Pick
Black Arts Festival
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020

Black Arts Festival

Reed College Free

Join Reed College in celebrating its third annual Black Arts Festival! Family-friendly, free and open to all, this festival offers a full concert experience with performances by: BbymuthaMaarquiiZsa ZsaBnickFather FannieHouse of OliverThese musical performances are accompanied by a BIPoC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color) Community Marketplace, featuring local vendors and food and drink purveyors,…

Editor's Pick
Black History Month
Cultural Communities
Food & Drink
Music
Shopping
Editor's Pick
Resonance Ensemble presents: Safe Harbor
Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020

Resonance Ensemble presents: Safe Harbor

Alberta Rose Theatre $30 General Admission $25 Senior $15 Student/Artist $5 Arts for All

Resonance Ensemble performs Safe Harbor, a concert of powerful new vocal music exploring experiences of asylum and exile and what it means to be an immigrant as we celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of the United States. At Safe Harbor, Resonance Ensemble will unveil their newly-commissioned work by the composer and…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Music
Editor's Pick
The Plastic Weather Circus Spectacular
Thursday, Mar. 5, 2020

The Plastic Weather Circus Spectacular

Holocene $10

Local weirdos Plastic Weather have gone and made a circus, in the tradition of the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, they present to you: The Plastic Weather Circus Spectacular. Featuring musical performances from Plastic Weather, Seance Crasher and Internet Beef. In the spirit of variety, there will also be the comedy stylings of Jay…

Editor's Pick
Comedy
LGBTQ+
Music
Performing Arts
Editor's Pick
Prohibition Party with the Oregon Symphony
Mar. 21–22, 2020

Prohibition Party with the Oregon Symphony

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall $24 – $110

Relive the 1920s in all its decadence. The Oregon Symphony will take you through the dark cabarets and speakeasies of New York, Paris, Berlin, London and Atlantic City, featuring the top hits of the decade, from Rudy Vallée to Josephine Baker and from Kurt Weill to King Oliver. This concert will feature vintage imagery and…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Portland Lindy Exchange
Apr. 10–12, 2020

Portland Lindy Exchange

Multiple venues Varies

Established in 2008, the Portland Lindy Exchange (PDXLX) is the biggest annual swing dance weekend in Oregon. Join us for 3 days of celebrating the music and vintage swing dances of the early 20th Century including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag. The Music PDXLX 2020 will feature LIVE swing and vintage jazz from…

Editor's Pick
Music
Nightlife
Performing Arts
Editor's Pick
Inner City Blues Festival
Saturday, Apr. 25, 2020

Inner City Blues Festival

Aladdin Theater $25 in advance; $30.00 door; $75.00 VIP

Soul Queens & Blues Kings A benefit for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL- OREGON “Healing the Healthcare Blues” This very special showcase will celebrate icons of Soul and the Blues pioneers that helped shape the history of music. Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester brings together some of our local R&B favorites: Lenanne Miller, Renato Caranto, LaRhonda Steele,…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Festival
Music
Editor's Pick
Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn
Ongoing

Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn

McMenamins Edgefield Prices Vary

Since 2008, McMenamins Edgefield, a bucolic venue located 15 miles east of Portland in Troutdale, has welcomed musical acts to its Concerts on the Lawn series, which is a local rite of summer.

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Waterfront Blues Festival
July 2–5, 2020

Waterfront Blues Festival

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Every Fourth of July weekend, the Waterfront Blues Festival takes over downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park.

Editor's Pick
Festivals
Music
Summer
Editor's Pick
Pickathon
July 30–Aug. 2, 2020

Pickathon

Pendarvis Farm Prices Vary

Every August since 1999, Pickathon draws diverse musical performers to celebrate music and the outdoors at the lush Pendarvis Farm just outside of Portland.

Editor's Pick
Festivals
Music
Summer