Broadway reopens in New York - and here are other American music cities

Hadestown (above) and Waitress were the first two musicals reopened on Broadway on Aug 31, 2021.
Hadestown (above) and Waitress were the first two musicals reopened on Broadway on Aug 31, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK - The reopening of Broadway after more than a year of pandemic closures is a milestone for music lovers, but New York is not the only American city using its rich musical traditions as a tourist draw.

Other great musical cities such as Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle and New Orleans are also highlighting their unique offerings to woo back visitors as travel restrictions ease.

Speaking at a virtual presentation for media from Southeast Asia - which accounted for about one million visitors to the US each year pre-pandemic - Ms Jackie Ennis of Brand USA, the country's destination marketing organisation, said: "Music is a universal language that allows us to transcend language and cultural boundaries, and it has always been one of the United States' most important assets.

"The goal is to use music to allow our international visitors to see the diversity of experiences and destinations in the US beyond the traditional gateway cities."

Las Vegas


Celine Dion, is set to begin a new Las Vegas residency in November. PHOTO: ST FILE

The city known for its gambling, nightlife and shows has roared back to life in recent months.

The entertainment calendar is once again packed with big names. July saw sold-out shows by pop singer Bruno Mars and comedian Dave Chappelle, while this month boasts performances by Harry Styles and Billie Eilish.

And the queen of The Strip, Celine Dion, is set to begin a new Las Vegas residency in November.

Hotel operators also seem confident that the crowds will return, with three major properties opening in the last 10 months: Circa, Virgin Hotels and Resorts World, the latter a US$4.3 billion mega-resort with 3,509 rooms.

Detroit


When it reopens next year, visitors can tour the Motown Museum to learn how his musical vision spawned a cultural movement. PHOTO: MOTOWN MUSEUM/FACEBOOK

The largest city in the state of Michigan is famous as the birthplace of the Motown sound.

A style of rhythm and blues named for the Motown record label founded by Berry Gordy in 1959, it produced hits by iconic artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes and The Jackson 5.

When it reopens next year, visitors can tour the Motown Museum to learn how his musical vision spawned a cultural movement.

Detroit is also an important city for jazz, hosting the world's largest free jazz festival every September.

And it is the home of techno music, which was created by four friends here in the early 1980s and has since exploded in popularity globally.

Every May, the Movement Electronic Festival brings together top deejays from around the world, and techno also figures prominently in the city's lively bar and club scene.

Chicago


In 2019, Chicago was the most visited city in the United States after New York and Orlando, Florida. PHOTO: AFP

In 2019, this was the most visited city in the United States after New York and Orlando, Florida - largely because it has the most connected airport in North America, especially for Asian travellers.

But the eclectic music scene is reason to do more than just pass through.

Both blues and house music can trace their beginnings here.

A must-see is legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy, who influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton to John Mayer. He performs at his club in downtown Chicago in January every year.

But visitors do not have to spend a cent to enjoy good music.

The Pritzker Pavilion has an outdoor stage with free concerts from Mondays to Fridays in the summer months, with seating for 5,000 people in beautiful Millennium Park.

Throughout the year, Chicago also hosts a gospel festival, a jazz festival and a blues festival with free outdoor performances.