From the Honkytonk Capital to Jazz’s Birthplace: America’s Best Music Scenes

music, city, Kansas City
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Bill Grant / Alamy

Jazz legends, symphonic masterpieces—and some really cool punk karaoke. Travel + Leisure readers kept the beat as they ranked the best music towns in the land.

No. 12 Kansas City

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The city that inspired its own early-rock song—famously performed by Little Richard, James Brown, and the Beatles—gives both music fans and meat-lovers reasons to sing: it also won the survey for the best barbecue. There are also more than 40 jazz venues around the city, from classics like the Blue Room (inside the American Jazz Museum) to hot newcomers like the no-cover Green Lady Lounge. For both burnt ends and soul-searching blues, go to B.B.’s Lawnside Barbecue, where the pit has been smoking ribs for more than 60 years. One reason not to have the blues in KC: it won the survey for feeling affordable.

music, city, Kansas City

From the Honkytonk Capital to Jazz’s Birthplace: America’s Best Music Scenes

No. 12 Kansas City

The city that inspired its own early-rock song—famously performed by Little Richard, James Brown, and the Beatles—gives both music fans and meat-lovers reasons to sing: it also won the survey for the best barbecue. There are also more than 40 jazz venues around the city, from classics like the Blue Room (inside the American Jazz Museum) to hot newcomers like the no-cover Green Lady Lounge. For both burnt ends and soul-searching blues, go to B.B.’s Lawnside Barbecue, where the pit has been smoking ribs for more than 60 years. One reason not to have the blues in KC: it won the survey for feeling affordable.

Bill Grant / Alamy
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