Music

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

Music Events in Portland

Portland overflows year-round with live shows and music festivals.

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

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
Portland Old Time Music Gathering
Jan. 15–19, 2020

Portland Old Time Music Gathering

Multiple Venues $15-$30

For fans of square dancing, banjo playing, guitar picking and everything else acoustic and old timey, January in Portland is the best time of year, and the upcoming winter will be no different. For its 21st year, the Portland Old Time Gathering will bring together talented musicians — and those who just love to be…

Editor's Pick
Festival
For Kids
Music
Editor's Pick
Gould Piano Trio
Jan. 20–21, 2020

Gould Piano Trio

Lincoln Performance Hall $32 – $57

The Friends of Chamber Music presents Gould Piano Trio, with guest clarinetest Robert Plane. British-based Gould Piano Trio has remained at the forefront of the international chamber music scene for a quarter of a century. Their many appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall and their diverse discography have included masterpieces of the repertoire, but also many…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Reel Music Film Festival
Jan. 24–Feb. 16, 2020

Reel Music Film Festival

Whitsell Auditorium

Featuring a kaleidoscopic selection of genres, movements, labels, bands, and solo artists, the annual Reel Music film festival features the latest in music film—from intimate portraits to career-spanning celebrations—alongside archival films ripe for re-discovery. Whether your passion is jazz, blues, folk, rock, electronic, world, classical—or anything between—we hope you find something to discover and inspire…

Editor's Pick
Festival
Film
Music
Editor's Pick
Mochitsuki
Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020

Mochitsuki

Portland State University $4-$12

A Japanese New Year tradition, Mochitsuki refers to the pounding of sticky rice to make mochi rice cakes. Mochitsuki Portland has been an annual Japanese-American New Year cultural celebration in the local community since 1996. The family-friendly festival has grown in popularity each year since, bringing together food, artwork, cultural booths, demonstrations, and local music…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Exhibition
Food & Drink
For Kids
Music
Editor's Pick
Portland Mini Musical Festival
Jan. 30–Feb. 2, 2020

Portland Mini Musical Festival

Brunish Theater $29.50

Join Live On Stage for Portland’s own festival of all new musicals and check out shows by local writers and composers. Brett Campbell from Oregon Arts Watch writes that Portland’s Mini Musical Festival is “one of the most enjoyable theatrical experiences of the year.”

Editor's Pick
Fertile Ground
Festival
Music
Performing Arts
Editor's Pick
Sexology! The Musical
Jan. 31–Feb. 8, 2020

Sexology! The Musical

Prism House $10-$15

Part of Portland’s annual Fertile Ground festival, Sexology: The Musical cracks open the tyranny of societal expectations when it comes to love, sex, and relationship. A powerful and funny story about the journey from monogamy to polyamory (complete with show tunes), Melanie Moseley’s solo show explores new pathways to intimacy. Through courageous and authentic storytelling,…

Editor's Pick
Comedy
Fertile Ground
LGBTQ+
Music
Performing Arts
Editor's Pick
Ho'ike
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020

Ho'ike

PCC Sylvania $20-$65

Celebrate Hawaiian culture at the annual Ho’ike show, featuring traditional Polynesian dancing, accompanied by live music from a halau band. Enjoy Lu’au: Ohana (family) style dining and a silent auction with items donated by local businesses and sponsors.

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Food & Drink
For Kids
Music
Performing Arts
Editor's Pick
Genghis Barbie
Feb. 6–7, 2020

Genghis Barbie

New Expressive Works $10-$25

“Geghis Barbie, the premiere “post-post-feminist all-female horn experience,” is a quartet of orchestral horn players known for sporting stage names such as “Attilla the Horn” and “Alpine Barbie,” along with for playing vivid, creatively faithful reimaginings of popular songs by the likes of David Bowie and the Eurythmics. Local music organization Third Angle brings the…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Portland Night Market
Feb. 7–8, 2020

Portland Night Market

Central Eastside Industrial District

The Portland Night Market showcases many unique businesses that call Portland home. Blending food, culture, music, drinks and retail together for an adventurous evening in the Central Eastside. Come meet some of Portland’s best makers and creators! The Portland Night Market is a bimonthly, free event and open to all ages.

Editor's Pick
Food & Drink
Music
Shopping
Editor's Pick
Pictures at an Exhibition
Feb. 8–10, 2020

Pictures at an Exhibition

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall $24-$125

From its stately opening to its majestic finale, Mussorgsky’s depiction of a stroll through an art exhibit is a perennial symphonic favorite, thanks to Ravel’s splendid orchestration. Augustin Hadelich, Musical America’s 2018 Instrumentalist of the Year, brings his astonishing technical wizardry to Paganini’s dazzlingly virtuosic First Violin Concerto. “Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Trousers & Tiaras: Gender Roles in Handel Operas
Feb. 14–16, 2020

Trousers & Tiaras: Gender Roles in Handel Operas

First Baptist Church $24-$66

For centuries, opera has manipulated gender: men playing women, women singing “trouser roles” as men. In this production, contralto Vicki St. Pierre sings roles written for several of the Baroque era’s famed castrati. Monica Huggett leads the orchestra in a new twist of gender in Handel opera, including the captivating “mad scene” from Orlando. “Portland…

Editor's Pick
Music
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
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
SheBrew
Sunday, Mar. 8, 2020

SheBrew

Castaway Portland $25-$50

Join the Human Rights Campaign and the Oregon Brew Crew for this all genders, all ages, fundraising event to show support for female-identified members of our community all while supporting LGBTQ+ people here in Oregon and across the nation. Featuring local female craft beer, cider and mead makers, musicians, comedians, businesses and community partners.

Editor's Pick
Beer
Festival
LGBTQ+
Music
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
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