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Music Lover's Guide to Living In Chico

Posted by Serene Skiffington

August 15, 2017

Music Lover's Guide to Living in ChicoOn hot August nights the city comes to life, buzzing with a harmonious blend of musical genres. Sultry notes of jazz drift out of leafy green backyards, stroll down the Esplanade, and fade into trendy folk-pop spilling out of downtown cafes.

A Chico summer is the sound of music mixed with the merry clinking of cups and the promise of happy memories; it's the electric current of pop streaming from car windows at an East 20th street stoplight; it's the spunky saxophone at the Saturday morning market, and the stories of life and love floating in from rustic country weddings.

The soul of our city beats to a diverse mix of musical preferences, instruments and styles. The beautiful thing about the music scene in Chico is that it celebrates our diversity and unifies our community. It's one of the things that makes living in Chico so unique for a rural northern California city. Music drives us together, tells our stories, and lifts us up when we need it most.

As a cultural arts driven city that knows how to have a good time, Chico is happy to oblige music lovers of every kind by hosting live music all over the place. The key is knowing where to look…

Weekly Gigs

Wednesday: For the perfect post-Wednesday work day, visit Chico’s most charming patio at Red Tavern to indulge an ambiance of expert local musicians, fine wine, superb food and sporting good fun. Be sure to challenge your friends or coworkers to a game of Bocce Ball while you're there. Don't miss out on the Esplanade’s hidden gem! Music starts at 6:30 p.m., call ahead to verify.

Thursday: Have you ever experienced deep-fried Japanese Tacos, ice cold Sapporo and quirky Adele covers, at the SAME time? Delight your taste-buds and charm your ears with Izakaya Ichiban’s deliciously simple Japanese menu and fun light cover bands. Music plays from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. weekly on Thursdays, and sometimes Wednesdays too! Call ahead to verify. (530) 342-8500.

Friday: For the best Arnold Palmer in town, and quite easily the most beautiful lounge, head on over to Two Twenty Restaurant inside Hotel Diamond to hear everything from piano to soft guitar. As a Chico landmark, this is a great place to take family visiting from out of town. The food’s great too! Call ahead to verify, or visit them online for more information.

Saturday: Looking for a simply gourmet night out? Wine and dine your date with seasonal small plates and incredible live music on Saturday Nights at Wine Time. A rustic venue, talented musicians covering the best oldies, and some of the absolute best food in Chico...you can’t go wrong. To view the upcoming artists click here.  

Upcoming Events 

These multicultural events are showcased on the Downtown Chico Business Association's entertainment page, where you can find more information and the program desciptions included below. As vibrant expressions of Chico's love for music and art of every kind, these events truly have something in store for everyone. Challenge yourself to break outside your comfort zone and join the community for these world class musical celebrations. 

Chico World Music Festival

Date: Saturday, September 9

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Location: Chico State Campus, Downtown Chico, California 95928

Price: FREE

The DCBA writes: “This year marks the 24th annual Chico World Music Festival! Four stages with different groups performing music from all over the world. Great for both kids and adults, this free event has music, dancing, crafts tables, art classes, science booths, a kid's stage, food and vendors from a variety of cultures and the book bike. This year will also include an imagination playground by the Chico Children's Museum and a brand new beer and wine garden. Did we mention that attendance is free?”

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Date: September 30, 2017

15th Anniversary Performance

Location: 400 west 1st street, Downtown Chico, California 95928

Phone: 530-898-6785

Price: $42 Premium | $36 Adult | $35 Senior | $26 Youth |

The DCBA writes: “The Grammy winning performers of The Spanish Harlem Orchestra are coming to Chico! These upbeat Latin enthused musicians are known for their salsa and Latin Jazz music that has earned them 4 Grammy nominations. Join the 13 musicians on their 15 Year Anniversary Tour as they spice up Chico with their hot Latin music."

Friday Night Concerts

Date: May 5 - September 8 from 7:00 - 8:30pm

Phone: 530-345-6500

Price: Open to the public, Free

Notes: Check the website for the 2017 schedule!

The DCBA writes: “Friday Night Concerts are Chico's best place to hear live, local music for free.  Pack up your blankets and lawn chairs, bring the family downtown, pick up a bite to eat from one of our fabulous downtown eateries and head to city plaza from 7 - 8:30pm.”

Happy Listening!

Turn on the soundtrack to your life, crank it up, and roll your windows down. Let your sound be heard. Enrich the blend with your own personal style. Get out there and explore the Chico music scene!

Don't be afraid to try new experiences, meet different people, and participate in community events. The live music around town is one of the bets parts about Living in Chico, and now you know where to look. 

To find the perfect meal to pair with your pursuit of great live music, check out the Food Lover's Guide to Living in Chico!

If you're looking for more awesome ways to enjoy our wonderful city, check out our Funner than the Phonebook resource to look up restaurants, phone numbers and more! 

Funner than the phonebook directory

Topics: Living in Chico, Community Events, Things to Do

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