Do you know which guitar-whaling rock legend lived next door to the classical composer Handel in London? Have you ever been to a jazz bar in Harlem? What was Bob Marley’s favorite meditation spot? Whether you’re a music nerd or just want to explore a city from a new perspective, here 6 of our favorite music-focused activities.03
Harlem Jazz Night Out
Swing on over to the neighborhood of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald to dive into Uptown New York’s vibrant jazz scene. The free spirit of improvisation is sure to get your foot tapping when you visit 3 hidden jazz haunts for live music. Relive the golden age of jazz as you walk around Harlem with your local guide. This musical genre hit the world stage during the Harlem Renaissance and you can see where history happened at locations like the Apollo Theater and the Harlem Alhambra. Whether you are a longtime listener or new to the scene, you are sure to have an unforgettable evening.
Handel & Hendrix in London
The tinkling pluck of the harpsichord drifts through the stately living quarters of the great classical composer George Frederic Handel at 25 Brook Street in London. One wall away, the flat of 23 Brook Street jangles with the hard-rock riffs of rock-n-roll’s legendary guitarist, Jimmy Hendrix. With a single ticket, you can visit the abodes of two influential musicians at the Handel and Hendrix in London museum. Walk through the Baroque parlor where Handel gave informal recitals to family and friends. Then, jump ahead 200 years to see Jimi Hendrix’s bohemian bedroom decorated with distressed Persian rugs. Peruse Hendrix’s vinyl collection, try on 1960s fashion, and watch a live performance of Handel’s harpsichord suites.
Bob Marley’s Nine Mile
Reggae—a musical genre nearly synonymous with Jamaica. While visiting this island nation, you can pay homage to the reggae legend Bob Marley by visiting his birthplace and final resting site in the small village of Nine Mile. Enter Marley’s childhood home, now a museum and photo gallery, to learn about the beginning of his musical career and feel some positive vibrations as you sit on Marley’s favorite meditation rock. See sites important to the king of reggae, learn about the Rastafarian movement, and enjoy a meal of delicious Jamaican jerk chicken cooked with fresh spices and herbs.
Liverpool & The Beatles
Immerse yourself in everything Beatles as you travel to Liverpool to see where John, Paul, George, and Ringo grew up and came together to form one of the most popular bands in history. On this romp into the world of British pop, listen to live music in the Cavern Club where the Beatles played intimate gigs. While visiting The Beatles Story’s award-winning exhibit, you can take a ride on the “Yellow Submarine” and learn the behind-the-scenes secrets of Abby Road Studios. On the Magical Mystery Tour, a bus will take you to the Fab 4’s childhood homes, schools, and places that inspired memorable songs like “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” While you can’t buy love, you can purchase an authentic souvenir from The Beatles Shop to take home.
Hippie Sightseeing Tour of San Francisco
Hitch a ride on a rainbow-painted 1970s Volkswagen bus to see the sights of San Francisco while celebrating the spirit of peace, love, freedom, and adventure. Shag carpets and beaded curtains set a hippie vibe and passers-by flash peace signs as you tour the city. While grooving to 1960s music, visit the homes of counter-culture musicians like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead. More than just the music, this tour provides a comprehensive overview of San Francisco by visiting sites like Lombard Street, Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks, China Town, and the chance to take a scenic photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge.
New Orleans: Birthplace of Jazz (& Rock n’ Roll?)
Experience the rhythms of New Orleans as you walk (or perhaps dance) your way to some of the city’s most musically significant sights. From Louis Armstrong to zydeco, learn about the city’s deep musical roots while exploring the area on foot. Your guide brings locations alive as you see them by playing corresponding songs that shaped music history. As you explore the Treme neighborhood—the United States’ undisputed birthplace of jazz, and the heavily disputed birth place of rock and roll—you’ll learn about New Orleans’ musical legends like Jelly Roll Morton, Mahalia Jackson, Fats Domino, and Trombone Shorty. This tour is sure to leave you humming!