5 Great Spots to Enjoy the Best Live Music in Miami 

Image via Instagram @cafelatrovamiami

By Cynthia De Saint

March 6, 2023

With Latinos en la casa and a fun mix of rockers, classic virtuosos, and jazz enthusiasts, The Magic City serves some of the hottest live music around. Here are some venues you might want to explore!

Whether you like rock or salsa, Bach or Beyoncé, these lively musical venues in Miami have something for you (besides great food and drinks!). In South Florida’s most famous city you can take a trip in time to pre-Castro Cuba, with classic bartenders and refreshing mojitos, or enjoy some of the best classical music served in town by romantic candlelight.  

1. Ball & Chain, Little Havana

The Ball & Chain Saloon opened in 1935. Since then, the famed music venue that once featured the legendary lady of the blues Billie Holiday, went through many name changes and incarnations, including a stint as a furniture store in the 90s. 

Happily for music lovers both local and visiting, in the first decade of the new century it was renovated and grandly reopened with its original moniker, Ball & Chain. 

Today, the colorful Cuban-flavored venue produces 100 hours of live music a week, primarily Latin jazz and salsa; other times, DJs play a diverse range of music, including R&B and hip-hop. Guests in town pop in from time to time to jam with local performers. That’s because its colorful atmosphere attracts artists of all musical persuasions. Rick Ross filmed the video for “Little Havana” there, while Cardi B and Bad Bunny filmed their video for “I Like It” at the venue in 2019.

The bar serves what has been described as “killer cocktails” and the Cuban-infused menu includes everything from Congri fritters to Cuban Spring Roll. Cocktails include the popular Cañita (Bacardi rum, fresh lime juice, house-made honey syrup, guarapo, garnished with a sugarcane stick). 

For menu, location and hours of operation, visit HERE

2. Gramps, Wynwood

Great music and what has been called “the best pizza in town.” What else is there to add, except that Gramps also serves cocktails and craft beer? 

Local hipsters, music, and nightlife lovers know that this trendy hangout in Wynwood always has something going on in its lively and very, very colorful outdoor patio, all the way from touring acts to local band performances, to comics! 

And if you like to sample different music styles, you’ll like to know that its eclecticism is one of Gramps’ main charms. This cool venue offers all kinds of musical acts, from rock to… well, some with a delightful touch of kitsch. To add a little rainbow spice to the mix, there are free drag shows every Thursday, hosted by the charming Karla Croqueta and friends! 

For menu, location and hours of operation, visit HERE

3. Café La Trova, Little Havana

With its traditional ‘cantinero’ style of bartending, this popular Cuban establishment is considered the mecca for the Caribbean island’s famed bar culture. Por algo it was recently named one of the best bars in the world!

Here, smartly uniformed bartenders “throw” drinks like Daiquiri Clásicos through the air from tin to glass, and when the live band strikes up, they pull out their maracas to provide backup percussion. This is thanks to maestro cantinero and founder Julio Cabrera, the face of the Cantinero movement in the United States who has imported his style from Miami to other locations around the world. 

Of course, with all this cantinero hoopla, one could easily forget that this retro spot in La Pequeña Habana also offers some of the best Latin music in town that transports guests through decades of history—from Cuba to the Cuban experience in Southern Florida.

For menu, location and hours of operation, visit HERE

4. Candlelight Series, Select Venues

Here’s a way for fans of all musical genres, from classics to pop, to enjoy great music in a lovely setting, whether indoors or al aire libre. The Candlelight Series brings live classical, jazz, pop, and rock music, played by the soft glow of candlelight, to some of Miami’s most iconic places, from the Hotel Colonnade in Coral Gables, to the stunning plaza turf at Jungle Island. 

Candlelight invites everyone to relive the greatest works of music, from Vivaldi to Adele and from the ballads of Mexican idol Juan Gabriel to the rock operatics of Queen. How eclectic are the musical selections? Some concerts coming up include Candlelight Open Air: A Tribute to ABBA (March 26 – June 4), Mozart, Bach, and Timeless Composers (June 8) and A Tribute to Beyoncé (May). Those who enjoy mixing their genres will surely enjoy “The Best of Metallica and Schubert” (June 24). 

Best of all, ticket prices usually start around $37, and food and drinks are available at the bar.

For menu, location and hours of operation, visit HERE

5. Rhythm Portal, Miami

If you like your music more experimental and likely to transport you to a new world of emotions, read on: “Through each encounter, a portal opens in the caress of nature to a place where percussion and movement become one, never the same as the time before.”  

This is how its website describes the unique musical experience created by eleven musicians from around the world. Inspired by the Argentine percussion group “La Bomba de Tiempo,” these young maestros deliver a unique and unrepeatable show through group improvisation. Every week the show features special guests as well as a DJ set by Richie Hell. Another helpful tip from their portal: “Dancing shoes are mandatory!” For location and hours of operation, visit HERE.

READ MORE: 7 Restaurants in Florida to Find Puerto Rican Food Made With Love




Local News

Related Stories
Share This