Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. Photo by Joey Kennedy.

There are cities that are famous for their music scenes: Seattle, Nashville, Austin, New York City. Then, there’s Pittsburgh, which isn’t. But should we be?

According to a new ranking of The Best Cities for Musicians to Live in America by Rent.com, Pittsburgh is a better place for musicians than Nashville and Austin. In fact, Pittsburgh comes in at number 7  (tied with Los Angeles).

The ranking uses Census figures on music-related businesses per population density (including concert venues, nightclubs, music stores and music schools) and the proportion of music-related occupations, such as arts, design, entertainment, sports and media.

Well, we do have some great record stores

To be fair, the survey did mention Pittsburgh’s incredible and often-overlooked history as a jazz mecca, which in the 1940s and 1950s was packed to the rafters with legends: Mary Lou Williams, Art Blakey, Billy Strayhorn, Ahmad Jamal, Billy Eckstine, etc.  Con Alma gets a mention as a place where jazz thrives today.

Pittsburgh also gets credit for spawning hip-hop giants Wiz Khalifa and the late Mac Miller.

The city’s affordability also gets a nod — according to Rent.com, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment here is $1,551. Less stress over making rent equals more time to make music.

San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis take the top three spots.

Read more here.

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife,...