Life in Portland Blog

July in Portland Is a Music Lover's Dream


Discover the Best of Music in Portland This July

Summer in Portland is one of the biggest reasons why people endure the city’s winter chill and spring rain. Once the sun hits, the city radiates perfection. While the endless beer festivals, river floats, and porch-spent happy hours are big contributors to what makes Portland great in the summer, there’s another thing we love about this city: its live music.

Every July, Portland pulls out all the stops and hosts a range of musical events that suit every taste. Enjoy classical music? There’s a festival for that. Prefer the blues? Portland has that, too. If you’re a music lover here in Portland, make sure you take full advantage of the city’s diverse music offerings this July and attend some of these amazing events.

Waterfront Blues Festival

Once a small shindig where you could gain entry with a simple can of beans, Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival has grown to be “the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River.” Every July, Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival draws crowds to Waterfront Park where listeners are encouraged to relax along the riverfront and enjoy notable blues acts. This year’s festival runs July 4th-7th, and the event kicks off with a spectacular fireworks display that you won’t want to miss.

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival

Celebrating its 47th year, Portland’s annual Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival promises to offer some of the best chamber music in the region. The concert series runs all the way through July, and concertgoers are welcome to join pre-concert picnics on Reed College’s lawn in anticipation of the music.

With performances scattered all around Portland, it’s easy to make it to a Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival show, whether you live in Northeast, Southwest, or any neighborhood in between.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

Known as the “West’s largest and oldest free celebration of jazz and blues,” Portland’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is a local treasure. Though the Jazz Festival doesn’t draw the large crowds of the Waterfront Blues Festival, this three-day has a few perks: it’s set beneath the gorgeous green of the St. Johns Bridge, and it’s free. You can check out this year’s acts here: Cathedral Park Jazz Festival Line-Up.

Concerts at the Oregon Zoo

How many cities get to boast that their zoo attracts top musical talent? Not many, but luckily, Portland is one of them! Every July, the Oregon Zoo hosts stellar outdoor concerts. This year, you can listen to famous duo TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' Band or the Roots, as each band will host their only concert with elephants in the backdrop. You can check out other July concerts at the Oregon zoo here: Oregon Zoo Concerts.

Pioneer Courthouse Square Lunchtime Concerts

Need a reprieve from a summer workday spent inside the office? If you work downtown, make sure to visit Pioneer Courthouse Square for its popular Noon Tunes Concert Series. Every week in July, locals are invited to visit the Square at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour-long concert. The acts are as diverse as they are talented, and the lunchtime concerts seek to showcase the best of local and regional talent.

Concerts on the Lawn at Edgefield

Every July Edgefield’s Concert on the Lawn summer series seems to line up more artists and bigger names, and this year is no exception. This July, the concert series invites guests to set up camp on the lawn to watch live acts like the Avett Brothers, Father John Misty, Vance Joy, and Jackson Browne. But be warned, tickets tend to sell out fast so it’s best to buy your tickets well in advance.

Happy listening!