Houston is a city full of cultural splendor and love for the arts. It also has a thriving music scene in popular genres like country, rap and rock, as well as traditional cultural performances and classical groups. With such a wide variety, it’s easy for someone to find something they love to listen to right here in their own backyard. We asked our Houston expert for some tips on discovering new musical acts.
Julia Swindle
Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society
(281) 724-8363

Julia Swindle is a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society and works to manage their audition process for their performances and concerts. The group has been performing for more than 60 years to Houston audiences, bringing classical comic operas to modern day and delighting Houston audiences. “It’s great to be able to bring something old to the next generation of music lovers and make it new again,” she says. Try some of Julia’s tips to discover new music and see what you can find to add to your playlist!

Check What’s Playing Downtown

Houston’s Theater District has multiple stages all hosting different kinds of performances each week. Aside from the resident companies like Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony, you can find smaller local groups and touring musical performers in Jones Hall, the Hobby Center, the House of Blues, Warehouse Live and the Wortham Theater Center each month. For lots of new or new-to-you music, check out the performances scheduled for the summer, when the resident companies are off and many of the newer and smaller groups come out to perform.

Make A Pandora Station

Streaming music services make it easier than ever to listen to music you like on the go. It also makes it simple to discover new artists or rediscover lost favorites from childhood. Choose a playlist or artist and see where your feedback to the system takes you. As you listen and “thumbs up” the songs you like and “thumbs down” the songs you don’t, you’ll curate a station that features just what you like and none of what you don’t. You’re sure to find new artists or new tracks from familiar artists that you like through Pandora’s recommendations.

Visit A Music Festival

Want to experience a lot of different kinds of music all at once? Try a music festival like Free Press Summer Fest. Not only will you get to meet a lot of people interested in music, but you’ll be able to encounter dozens of musical acts all in one place in a single weekend. You may come away from the experience with a new favorite band!

Related: Top Music Festivals Near Houston

Listen To Your iTunes

Or Amazon or wherever else you buy your digital music. With online purchasing of music being so prevalent now, it is possible for the companies selling the music to notice patterns and trends in the data that help them recommend tracks, albums and artists to you based on what others have already purchased. The next time you see a note next to a track you like and are purchasing that says “others who bought this also bought music from these artists,” pay attention! You may like what’s there.

CheckOut What’s Happening On Artshound

This local arts calendar has events of all kinds of visual and performing arts, all happening right here in Houston. It’s run by the Houston Arts Alliance, but performers can upload their own information to the calendar so you hear directly from the artists where they will be performing and when. You can search by genre, location or just browse all events by date. With so much to do in Houston, you’ll never be able to see all the great local artists, but you’ll be sure to discover some new acts you’ll be listening to for years to come.

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Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.