The Live Wire: Where to Hear Music in Orlando

What’s that Triumph sang about – the “magic power” of the music? Whether you've heard of Triumph of not, the sentiment holds true; and Orlando's certainly an ideal city when it comes to magic! Most people aren’t steadfast in their musical tastes. Jazz, blues, hip hop, soul, rock, country…. It just depends on the mood, really. So, what’s yours? Looking for a Disney-based haven where you can feed your tummy, sate your liver and enjoy live tunes with the kids? Check out Raglan Road, where two stages offer up two different live-music vibes and Irish dancers stomp nightly. Feel like unearthing something special that many locals aren’t hip to just yet? Head over to Maitland for cool jazz, smooth wines and tasty tapas at Jazz Tastings, an unexpected oasis in an unassuming shopping plaza. Touring acts of all stripes hit Downtown Disney’s House of Blues, a beautiful venue with great sound and multiple bars – but then they also visit The Social and the Plaza Live, two amazing venues held dear in the hearts of local music lovers. From the smoky “underground” jazz vault of downtown’s Tanqueray’s  to the convivial everyday-fun vibe of Casey’s on Central, there are enough live music haunts in town to please everyone, whether your love of music was born of the Victrola, the Discman or the MP3.


Orlando Farmer's Market
Photo courtesy of Orlando Farmer's Market

Orlando residents have been delighting in this weekly Lake Eola event since 1987 and it just keeps growing. The market features more than 50 vendors all year 'round, creating a veritable cornucopia of Florida fruits and vegetables. Also on tap:...  Read More


Small, smoky and – if you like intimate spaces and great music sans pretention and expensive decor – sexy, Tanqueray's is an "underground" music venue where the drinks are cold and the horns blow hot. Wind your way downstairs and there's...  Read More

There's really only three things you need to know about Casey's on Central, a local kinda joint in the heart of downtown Orlando: free popcorn, homemade moonshine and live music seven nights a week. Acoustic and plugged-in, country, southern...  Read More

Disney Springs ®

With live music on two different stages and Irish dancers every night of the week, Raglan Road really packs in the entertainment. And there's plenty of good food and cold drink with which to enjoy it. Monday through Sunday you can stomp, clomp...  Read More

This unassuming but amazing little venue in the Milk District is amid renovations and upgrades as we were updating this list. We can't predict what new heights such investment (courtesy of the Orlando Philharmonic) will bring, but all reports...  Read More

Disney Springs ®

The acts that perform at Orlando's House of Blues run the gamut from metal to folk, rock to pop, country to – of course – blues and everything in between (and let's not even talk about its Sunday Gospel Brunch). HOB is an all-around...  Read More

What's black and gold and red all over? If you're in downtown Orlando and don't know the answer, the joke is on you, because you're missing out on the Bosendorfer Lounge, one of the city's sultriest locales for cool martinis and even cooler live...  Read More


Consistently voted a favorite live-music venue by critics and locals alike, the Social's laid-back vibe, efficient barkeeps and relatively intimate space draws an eclectic crowd of music lovers, be it blues, folk, rock, metal, reggae.... Really,...  Read More

It's a common occurrence in the City Beautiful: you're minding your own business in some unassuming little shopping plaza and BOOM! (or in this case, the noise is a bit smoother, maybe with a little piano, some sax and some subtle, sultry vocal...  Read More


Serving up drinks and live music to Orlando locals thirsty for both for 15-plus years, Will's is something of a petri dish for indie music, a come-as-you-are joint if ever there was that has played host to burgeoning acts of all stripes. Recent...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and roughly 15 as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster enthusiast,...  More About A.D.