With a wealth of live music at top-notch venues, Greater Miami’s nightlife has been described as many things — fast-paced, fantastic, fun — but never boring. No matter what part of Greater Miami and the Beaches you’re in, it’s easy to find live music. The diverse blend of cultures that call Miami home have long sustained and evolved through song, giving the Miami live music scene a worldly flavor.
Add that to the national and international acts that frequently visit while on tour, and you have one of the country’s greatest music scenes. November has been designated Miami Live Month. Modeled after the Miami Spice Restaurant Program and Miami Spa Month, Miami Live Month is a collaboration of live music venues all over the city offering special promotions, hosting unique performances and more.
Bleau Live at the Fontainebleau, The Stage, The Setai, The Vagabond, Churchill’s Pub, Electric Pickle, Grand Central, White Room and Tobacco Road are among the venues participating in Miami Live Month. To find out more, visit MiamiLiveMonth.com.
South Beach, Miami’s hub for all things nightlife, is also your first stop in search of great live music. Here, you’ll find the legendary Mango’s on Ocean Drive, a top tourist spot featuring dancers shaking their stuff to live Latin bands playing until 5 a.m. every night of the week. Mango’s dance costumes are unforgettable — think leopard-print bodysuits — so expect a feast for the eyes as well as the ears when you walk through the doors. See the incredibly talented dancers performing their colorful samba show, the conga, salsa, bachata and the finest Michael Jackson dance review.
Amid all this high-energy entertainment, an unlikely genre has emerged: live jazz. Jazid, a cozy venue along the Washington Avenue strip, features live music nightly, mostly local jazz artists and bands, although other genres like funk/soul, R&B and reggae also find their way to the stage. At Lapidus Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, music lovers can look forward to a chill scene with lounge music on rotation until midnight.
For more live music with local flavor, head back to the Downtown Miami area, where you’ll find a handful of warehouse-style venues that host indoor/outdoor live music events featuring local and touring acts. Events in these spaces often take on a multifaceted aspect, paired with works by local artists on the walls, artists creating pieces live onstage, or crafters selling handmade wares.
Little Havana is a hotbed of live Latin music thanks to venues like Hoy Como Ayer. Set on Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main thoroughfare, the club features both local musicians like Palo! along with touring acts.
In Coral Gables, live music venues tend to be more upscale and refined; look to the Biltmore Bar, located in the historic Biltmore Hotel, for light bossa nova and jazz to complement its menu of martinis and cocktails made with organic ingredients. With the notes of a piano tickling your ears and the Old World grandeur of the hotel, you’ll feel transported to another era.
Throughout the year, Miami hosts a handful of world-class music festivals as well, offering even more opportunities to catch your favorite musicians or discover new ones. Ultra Music Festival and the Winter Music Conference flood the city with electronic music, events and artists each March.