Virginia’s contribution to music history and innovation around the world is celebrated by declaring September Virginia Musical Heritage Month.
Virginia’s musical culture is diverse and includes genres such as blues, folk, brass, hip-hop, mountain music, country, gospel, and rock.
“Virginia’s history is rich in musical heritage,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation, in a press release. “So many artists in the state are influencing the music and entertainment heard around the world. We want to honor the Commonwealth’s exciting musical heritage as well as its storied past. Music tourism is an important industry, contributing to the overall economic impact of tourism and diversifying Virginia’s economy.
Virginia Music History
- Many notable musicians were born and/or started their careers in Virginia, including Dave Matthews, Ella Fitzgerald, Bruce Hornsby, Pharrell Williams, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Missy Elliott, D’Angelo, and Jason Mraz.
- Virginia hosts many music festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world each year. These include FloydFest, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Richmond Folk Festival, among others.
- Richmond has long been known for its underground punk scene, but the city has become an ideal location for all types of musical genres. Virginia’s capital is home to a diverse local music scene ranging from jazz to folk to indie rock, and teems with musical talent — from local bands and nationally acclaimed artists — every night. For the musical traveler, Richmond is the place to visit to catch your favorite artists and discover a new favorite at one of its many live music venues.
- The sounds of country music throb in the Southwest Virginia region, connected by The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. The Crooked Road winds through nearly 300 miles of scenic terrain in southwestern Virginia, including 19 counties, four towns, and 54 towns. Historic music venues around Crooked Road include the Floyd Country Store, home to the Floyd Friday Night Jamboree, the Rex Theater at Galax, and the Carter Family Fold at Hiltons, named after AP and Sara Carter, which is dedicated to music. preservation and performance. old country and bluegrass music.
- The city of Bristol is known as the birthplace of country music because of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which legendary country artist Johnny Cash called “the most important event in the history of country music”. The Smithsonian-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum opened in August 2014 to commemorate the Bristol Sessions and Southwest Virginia’s contributions to American music.
- Hip-hop is huge in Hampton Roads. Some of the greatest producers the genre has ever seen hail from the region. Since the 1990s, the region has helped create some of the world’s most successful hip hop, rap and pop music.
Upcoming music events in Virginia
- September 1-4: The porch party is a group of local, regional and national musicians who showcase their talent on two stages at Spirithaven Farm which takes place on Virginia’s porch towards the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- September 3-4: The Appaloosa Festival is a roots music and outdoors experience that takes place at the Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal. Hosted by Scythian, Appaloosa features local, national and international bands, as well as musical workshops led by top artists, including some of the most critically acclaimed emerging artists from across the country.
- September 3-4: The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has been bringing great music to the Shenandoah Valley for over 50 years. Each year, the festival presents eight to ten concerts, featuring award-winning and nationally recognized artists. Artists performing in September include The Spinners (September 3) and Béla Fleck with Billy Contreras, Jacob Jolliff, Justin Moses, Bryan Sutton and Mark Schatz (September 4).
- September 9-11: The winner Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion is a three-day music experience that celebrates Bristol’s heritage as the birthplace of country music. State Street in historic Bristol city center comes alive with 22 live music stages.
- September 9-11: The Blue Ridge Rock Festival will bring the rock to Virginia International Raceway. The festival will feature music from Slipknot, Disturbed, Ghost, Mudvayne, Ice Cube, 3 Doors Down, A Day to Remember, Halestorm, Lamb of God, Alice Cooper, Tenacious D and many more.
To learn more about Virginia’s musical legacy, visit virginia.org/music.