There’s no better addition to a night out than live music. The live music Charlottesville has to offer is strong, diverse, and exciting. Whether you’re looking for tunes to accompany your dinner, or see a show, there are tons of places to see amazing musicians and performers. Don’t know where to start looking? No problem! We’ve narrowed down the best restaurants and venues in Charlottesville for live music.
For indie music:
The Jefferson Theater – “The Jeff” started out as a swanky place to see silent movies and vaudeville acts back in 1912. Though it got a modern revamp in 2009, the spirits of Harry Houdini and The Three Stooges, who performed there back in the day, still linger in The Jeff’s halls. Okay, that last bit is up for debate. Anyway, we can confirm this theater has an intimate, historic atmosphere with a great balcony view of the Downtown Mall. Recently, The Jeff has hosted acts like The Chainsmokers and Third Eye Blind. Along with the Sprint Pavilion, the Jefferson Theater handles most of the big names that pass through Charlottesville. Check here for upcoming events.
For folk and acoustic performances:
The Southern Cafe and Music Hall – This smaller venue is a great balance of food and entertainment. It hosts over 150 touring acts per year and serves a delicious slate of sandwiches, soups, and salads. Due to the lesser-known solo artists and Southern music acts often gracing the stage, it has a distinct cultural signature that sets it apart from other venues in Charlottesville. It’s a great place to take that one friend who won’t listen to anything too “mainstream.” Find a full schedule of events and a menu here.
For bluegrass with your dinner:
Blue Moon Diner – The Blue Moon Diner is a classic 50’s-style diner with weekly live music. Right now, it’s on a brief hiatus to focus on other ventures. But don’t worry, it’s set to reopen in June of 2018. Trust us, you should be excited when it does. BMD serves up all-American food, like burgers, chicken pot pie, BLTs, and old-fashioned milkshakes. Of course, this nostalgic menu is complete with hearty all-day-breakfast. Local musician Jim Waive holds a Wednesday night residency here. Be sure to check this folksy diner out in the summer of 2018!
For late-night live jazz and cheap drinks:
Miller’s Downtown – If you’re into jazz, you’d do well to visit Miller’s Downtown, a classic bar located on the Downtown Mall. Not only does it have solid happy hour deals and lots of great options on the menu, but Miller’s goes above and beyond, hosting live music (primarily jazz) three to six days a week. A notable highlight is UVA Music professor John Dearth’s weekly appearance with his quintet. They may come on late, but it’s worth it to witness such prodigious jazz improvisation. See a menu, calendar, and specials here.
For classical performances:
Tuesday Evening Concert Series – The Tuesday Evening Concert Series is a non-profit that brings the most accomplished names in classical music to Charlottesville. In addition to the regular hosting of events in UVA’s historic Cabell Hall Auditorium, TECS puts on children’s concert designed to engage young children with the joys of classical music. The foundation has presented concerts for nearly 55,000 students since 1995. Ticket prices are very reasonable, due to the organization’s non-profit status. For those who a haven’t experienced classical music much before, Tuesday Evening Concert Series is a perfect introduction to the art. Find upcoming events and tickets, click here.
For a varied selection of shows:
The Paramount Theater – Most venues in town can be easily summed up in a few words, but the historic Paramount hosts so many different kinds of events that it can’t be described. Take the upcoming lineup for the rest of 2017 as proof. The Charlottesville Municipal Band, civil rights activist Shaun King, the Charlottesville Opera, the Nutcracker, and a “Back to the Country” Jamboree Show. With exposure to such diverse forms of entertainment, the Paramount is bound to have something for everyone. Take a look at an upcoming event schedule here.
For a nightclub vibe:
The Ante Room – Another restaurant-venue-nightclub split to take a look at is The Ante Room on Water Street, a Caribbean joint that hosts events primarily related to funk, reggae, and Latin music. The Charlottesville Salsa Club holds a few weekly events here. There are a few late-night DJ sessions, as well. While live performances are somewhat rare at the Ante Room, the delicious Caribbean eats make the trek down to Water Street well worth it, regardless. Event listings and a menu are available here.
For coffeehouse performances:
C’Ville Coffee – C’Ville Coffee is a well-loved hangout off of McIntire Road. Along with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and baked goods, you’ll often find live music in this coffee shop. Following your typical coffeeshop traditions, the performers are mainly local talent, with a nice mix of solo and group acts. All of their event information is available on their Facebook page, located here.
For college bands:
Coupe Deville’s – Coupe Deville’s, or Coupe’s, is a fixture on the Corner, situated on Elliewood Avenue. It’s tradition for UVA student bands to rock out at Coupe’s. Along with those acts, Coupe’s hosts local acts 4 nights a week. Featuring a great outdoor patio for performances as well as a comfortable indoor bar area, this “basement bar” serves dinner and drinks in addition to its performance-hosting duties. Understandably, their Facebook page can’t always keep up with posting upcoming events. So, calling them might be your best bet to see who’s playing: (434) 529-6387.