U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Norfolk Music Scene

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Norfolk is a military town that overlooks Chesapeake Bay and the Elizabeth River. The city population was nearly a quarter million people according to the 2010 Census. Campuses include Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University. Downtown revitalization has helped the music scene as live venues for local artists include The Norva and The Attucks Theatre. The history of the Norfolk music scene has included rock and roll legend Gene Vincent, Clarence Clemmons and Wayne Newton. The local music scene is covered by The Virginia-Pilot and Port Folio Weekly.

Chasing Arrows * Divine Ratio * Kool Cash * Jimmy Drew * Mika Lucio * Please Say Yes! * Sleepy Wonder * Tip Top * Tyler Layne * Warren Seaburg

Norflk Local Music Scene History

As music venues were among the hardest-hit financial disasters in 2020, Charlie's American Cafe in Riverview closed its doors indefinitely in January, before the coronavirus was considered a global pandemic. The venue moved to 4024 Granby Street in 2014 and has been a hotspot for seeing local acts. It's also been the home of local show promoter TBA Productions, which cancelled all shows slated for the spring.

Norfolk is a growing music scene that draws influences from many different cultures. Since the 1980s, when the city decided to renovate the port area, Norfolk has been attracting tourism. Many outdoor events are held from March through October at Town Point Park, featuring rock, reggae, blues, jazz and opera concerts.

The NorVa is one of the city's most legendary venues where big name bands have performed. In 2013 Rolling Stone named The Norva as the number one best music venue in America based on readers' choice. Other popular music venues are 37th and Zen, Jazz Nightclub, Regent University Theatre, The Jefferson Theatrea and Busch Gardens.

Some of the well known local acts in 2013 include hip hop artist Fam-Lay, R&B singer Charlie Whitehead, jazz artist Keely Smith and alternative indie rock band Magoo. Public radio station 89.5 WHRV seems to be the best freeform station in town, which is important to musicians trying to get their music played on the air. The market has a few other stations of interest to rock fans, such as 98.7 WNOR while alternative fans listen to 96.1 WROX. The market has four urban contemporary radio stations, a few adult contemporary stations and a few country stations.

A Chuck Berry song recorded by Elvis Presley called "Promised Land" mentioned Norfolk as home and a starting point on a westbound bus trip. The song was covered by the Grateful Dead. Norfolk has many many festivals throughout the year, including the North Norfolk Music Festival, which is planning its tenth year in 2014. The Norfolk County Music Festival, which started in 1925, also provides opportunities for local independent artists to perform.

One of the top local bands of the sixties, Precious Few, were set to play a Norwich show in April 2016. The band includes vocalist Peter Reynolds, Chris Bell, Roger Pymer and Micky Betts. During the sixties they attracted crowds as large as 2,000. The show will mark their first live performance in 50 years.

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