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Rachel B. Levin
December 29, 2014

On any given night, Los Angeles pulses and hums with the beat of a thousand drums and the strum of a thousand guitars. Well, maybe not exactly a thousand. Probably more! This music capital of the world is a nerve center both for homegrown talent and the best of the industry from national to international stars. Something fantastic is always on. You'll find grand concert halls filled by the sounds of the symphony, intimate clubs where up-and-coming singer-songwriters belt heartfelt tunes, and hip hotspots where tastemakers groove to indie rock and world music. Perhaps the only thing better than enjoying live singing and instrumentation is combining it with Los Angeles's beautiful weather. The city's outdoor amphitheaters swell to capacity in the summer, when locals flock with picnic fare and bottles of wine to soak up the alfresco melodies. These five spots offer a stellar variety of settings and musical styles.

The Echo

This intimate club reflects the funky Eastside ethos of Echo Park. It's got its finger on the pulse of the indie and alternative music scenes (everyone from Green Day to The Rolling Stones has played here), but it also hosts an eclectic array of world music, from salsa to reggae.

Hollywood Bowl

No summer in Los Angeles is complete without at least one trip to "the Bowl," an amphitheater nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Its massive 1920s band shell is an iconic stage for some of the world's most renowned recording artists, from Sergio Mendes to Diana Krall. Pack a picnic!

The Theater at Ace Hotel

Formerly a United Artists movie palace in the 1920s, this stunning space was re-imagined in 2014 as a music performance venue. The intricate Spanish Gothic ornamentation and scintillating mirrored dome make it one of the city's most eye-catching theaters, and the lineup reflects the tastes of the Ace's hip crowd.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

One of the city's architectural gems, this sweeping steel structure was designed by Frank Gehry (Walt Disney's widow footed the bill). It's the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for good reason—the acoustics are unparalleled! While classical tunes rule, you might also catch Audra MacDonald or Pink Martini.

Hotel Café

If you want to discover the next big singer-songwriter, spend an evening in this cozy Hollywood lounge. The coffeehouse-turned-bar and music venue has been a launching pad for the likes of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and KT Tunstall. Arrive early to snag one of the few tables (no reservations accepted)!

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