Here in the South, some states are recognized for their musical heritage more than others. Jazz quickly follows any mention of New Orleans, Louisiana. When you think of country music, Nashville, Tennessee comes to mind.
How about Georgia? It turns out Georgia's music heritage is pretty hard to define in one word, or even one place. That's partly because the state's done little to claim its stake in music history, and largely because Georgia's musical offerings are incredibly diverse.
Now, the state's tourism industry has declared 2016 the "Year of Georgia Music." They're shining a spotlight on Georgia's musicians and the places they come from. For example, you can take a musical pilgrimage to Augusta, the birthplace of the godfather of soul, James Brown. It's also opera superstar soprano Jessye Norman's hometown. Down in Macon, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers kicked off international careers. This is not to mention the many small towns home to country and blues music stars past and present.
And it's not just about celebrating Georgia's musical heritage — it's about celebrating the music created and performed in the state every day. So in addition to walking tours and museum visits, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) encourages tourists and locals alike to get out of the house and into the concert hall.
On "City Lights," Lisa Love, the Director of Marketing at GDEcD, highlighted just a few of the festivals, small towns, cities and venues shaping Georgia's place in the music world. For more music tourism ideas, visit Explore Georgia's website.