63 Local Musicians and Bands To Check Out Now

Whether jazz or jangle pop is your jam, you're sure to find artists you love on this list. 🎸
Broke Royals. Photo By Aaro Keipi

Want to catch some killer live music? The DMV is home to scores of local musicians creating original tunes, including pop-rock quintet Broke Royals (above). (Photo by Aaro Keipi)

There’s no shortage of local music in the DMV. In addition to cover bands, there are scores of ensembles producing original music, from rock to jazz to futuristic pop and everything in between. Here are some names to have on your radar:

American Television

D.C.-area melodic punk rock foursome whose drums won’t quit.

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Annie Stokes (Photo by Emma Kate Ogilvie)

Annie Stokes

Americana singer-songwriter based in Leesburg and 2022 Wammie Award winner for Best Country/Americana Album.


Solo hip-hop artist and emcee for multiple D.C.-area bands.

Ari Voxx

D.C.-based singer-songwriter and self-proclaimed “dreamy pop princess.

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The Arlingtones (Photo by John Bogovic)


Co-ed Arlington barbershop chorale dating back to 1957.

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Bacchae (Photo by Avery Davis)


D.C.-based punk quartet whose songs include “Older I Get”: The older I get/ The less that I know / And now knowing nothing / Is just getting old.

BackYard Band

D.C.-based go-go outfit fronted by Anwan Glover, who played Slim Charles on HBO’s The Wire.

Bartees Strange

Nationally recognized Falls Church vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and producer who played the SXSW Music Festival in 2023.

Beauty Pill

Moody post-rock band who once held a residency at now-defunct Artisphere.

Black Folks Don’t Swim

A “soulful Black music machine from space” out of D.C.

Bobby Thompson

Arlington-based blues and rock guitarist/vocalist.

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Broke Royals (Photo by Gabe Garcia)

Broke Royals

Pop-infused rock quintet based in D.C. and named an Artist on the Rise by Southwest Airlines.

Calista Garcia

Arlington-bred singer-songwriter and H-B Woodlawn alum who competed on NBC’s The Voice, has some original musicals under her belt, and took home the 2022 Wammie for Best Folk Artist.

Christie Dashiell

Internationally touring jazz vocalist and songwriter whose 2016 album Time All Mine made Billboard jazz charts.

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Cinema Hearts (Photo by Sammy Hearn)

Cinema Hearts

Northern Virginia-bred indie rock singer-songwriter and former pageant queen.

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Color Palette (Courtesy photo)

Color Palette

D.C. based ambient pop-rock outfit whose music placements include NBC Universal and ESPN.

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Crooked Sparrow (Photo by Audrey Lew)

Crooked Sparrow

 Northern Virginia-based trio fusing Americana with musical traditions from Texas and Latin America.

Crys Matthews

Social justice singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in D.C.

Dear Daria

D.C.-based foursome blending pop, punk and rock.

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Dominique Bianco (Photo courtesy of @dominiquebiancophotography)

Dominique Bianco

D.C.-based jazz vocalist who served as a 2023 Strathmore Artist in Residence and won the 2023 Wammie Award for Best Jazz Artist.

Elena LaFulana

Latin Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter based in D.C.


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Rock quartet who took home the 2023 Wammie for Best Rock Artist.

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Fix Your Hearts (Courtesy photo)

Fix Your Hearts

Pop-punk outfit with roots in Northern Virginia and a penchant for The Dude.


The Infinite Daisy Chains (Photo by Gopi Raghu)

The Infinite Daisy Chains

Synth-pop duo and music producers (plus married couple) based in the D.C. area.

Integriti Reeves

“Modern vintage” jazz vocalist who is a former Strathmore Artist in Residence and participant in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center.

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Jahnel Daliya (Photo by Roxplosion)

Jahnel Daliya

Singer-songwriter with folk, pop and rock influences who hails from New York and Virginia.

Jasmine Gillison

“Warm and relatable” singer-songwriter who grew up in Fairfax County.

Jenna Camille

Songwriter, producer and vocalist whose music includes some serious throwback vibes.

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The JoGo Project (Photo courtesy of Nick Moreland)

The JoGo Project

D.C.-based jazz and go-go fusion band founded by Chuck Brown Band alum and saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed.

Jumpin’ Jupiter

Twangy rockabilly and rock-and-roll band fronted by Jay Jenc, the pitmaster at Hill Country Barbecue Market in D.C. and former chef at Westover Beer Garden.

Junior Marvin

Jamaican-born guitarist and vocalist and original member of legendary reggae group Bob Marley and the Wailers.

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Justin Trawick and the Common Good (Photo by Erin Moran)

Justin Trawick and the Common Good

D.C.-based bluegrass outfit fronted by singer-songwriter and concert producer Justin Trawick.


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Hanoi Ragmen

D.C.-based rock band and winner of the 2023 Wammies for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song.

Heather Mae

D.C.-based singer songwriter whose music focuses on social justice, body positivity and mental health.

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Lotion Princess (Photo by Mariah Miranda Photography)

Lotion Princess

Shoegazey indie rock trio with new music expected in 2023.


All-female Celtic fiddle band based in Arlington.

Melissa Quinn Fox

Northern Virginia-based artist who won all three 2023 Wammies for the country genre: Best Artist, Best Song and Best Album.

Memphis Gold

Tennessee-bred blues musician and Vietnam veteran who has toured internationally and shared the stage with R.L. Burnside and The Temptations.

Milo in the Doldrums

Grungy rock outfit with ties to Arlington and Falls Church.

More Am Than FM

Punky trio that has been rocking the D.C. area for more than a decade.

My Kid Brother

Leesburg-bred alt-rock outfit with a sense of humor.

Mystery Friends

Futuristic pop group and winner of the 2023 Wammie for Best Electronic/Techno Song.

Night Train 357

D.C. hip-hop artist billed as “the cure for the common cool.

The Neuro Farm

D.C. darkwave/goth foursome dishing out violin-infused dreariness.

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The North Country (Photo by Mike Kim)

The North Country

“Experimental pop collective” unleashing quirky vibes in D.C.


Laid-back rock band (whose name is short for Of a Revolution) with a hefty following and roots in Rockville and Arlington.

Oh He Dead

D.C. indie soul group and 2023 Wammie winner for Best Pop Artist.


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Pinky Lemon

D.C. and Philadelphia-based band known for shoegaze and “dream bops.”

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Project Mayhem (Courtesy photo)

Project Mayhem

Subversive D.C.-based rock and “punkadelica” outfit releasing its debut album in 2023.

Rachel Levitin

D.C. singer-songwriter who founded the IOTA Chair, an oral history and music video project honoring the defunct Arlington venue.

Rare Essence

D.C. go-go band founded in 1976 that has collaborated with rapper Snoop Dogg and others.

Sara Curtin

Singer-songwriter, record label founder and one-half of folk duo The Sweater Set.

Shamans of Sound

D.C. reggae outfit with hip-hop, soul, funk and roots influences.

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SOJA (Photo by Hiroki Nishioka)


Grammy-winning reggae band founded by Yorktown High School alums.

Sol Roots

Internationally touring blues outfit with touches of funk, rock and soul.


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Decades-old D.C. go-go band known for its “bounce beat” style.


Two Ton Twig (Courtesy photo)

Two Ton Twig

D.C.-based bluegrass quartet incorporating fiddle, dobro, banjo and mandolin.


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Umami House

Newish D.C. duo melding funk, pop and soul.


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D.C. alt-rockers and self-professed “power slackers.”

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Veronneau (Courtesy photo)


Eclectic jazz ensemble fronted by Montreal-bred vocalist Lynn Veronneau, who co-hosts The Antidote on Arlington’s WERA 96.7 FM with husband and band member Ken Avis.

The Walkaways

Alt-country sextet hailing from Arlington.


Wandering Bird (Courtesy photo)

Wandering Bird

D.C.-based rock quintet who released their debut EP in 2023. (Editor’s Note: Arlington resident and Arlington Magazine staff writer Eliza Tebo (above, left) is a member of Wandering Bird as well as Jessica Upstairs, an acoustic duo with Wandering Bird’s lead singer, Jason Cannata (above, center).)

40 Miles Home

Indie rock, bluegrass and alt-country outfit based in Arlington.

Got a favorite local band you don’t see here? Tell us about them at editorial@arlingtonmagazine.com. And if you’re looking for great cover bands in the area, be on the lookout for our forthcoming cover-band roundup.


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Categories: Arts & Entertainment