Experience the best of the best with this Top 8 list of things to do and see in Portsmouth.
Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
Plan for your visit and explore Portsmouth with the Visitor Directory.
The first weekends with the Portsmouth Museums is an exciting time to visit. Festivities kick off on the First Friday of each month (April-October) with live music, adult beverages, and a gathering of friends in the courtyard at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. On First Saturday mornings, the courtyard features more live music to entertain guests attending the Olde Towne Farmer’s Market and the Komi Art Market. And just a few blocks away, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, kids enjoy a variety of S.T.E.M. learning opportunities while getting a better understanding on our city’s history. All events are free and admission to the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center is waived during these events.
5 p.m. – 8.pm
This event kicks-off the beginning of the 2022 First Friday Concerts in the Courtyard season, bringing for their first-time in the lineup Anthony Boatner and his band, the Horseboy Bluez Band. The group originated in 2020 and consist of lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Anthony Boatner, along with Dakota (Lead Guitarist and Singer), and Nat (the Drummer)
There will also be an art market and silent auction on site to benefit Support Portsmouth Public Art, with 19 artists displaying their work.
William “Chan” Hall is a smooth jazz recording artist based in Richmond, VA. Hall has extensive training on keyboard and percussion instruments since age of 15. He is influenced by the great Marcus Johnson, Bob Baldwin, and Joe Sample. Chan has performed throughout the Eastern U.S. and has shared the stage with one of his idols, Herbie Hancock.
The Portsmouth Jazz Experience brings great music to the local region one note at a time. This group wowed the audience in 2021, and we are looking forward to the return of Vontrelle’s amazing vocals, along with some of this area’s most talented musicians.
Allen Hudson and the Halfmoons bring great music to the local region.
Nate Levine • Guitar
Brian Slingerland • Drums
Elijah Jackson • Bass Guitar
Carlin Field • Keys
Jamie Anderson • Vocals
Jeena Anderson • Vocals
Blue Cowbell features amazing blues, vocals, along with some of this area’s most talented musicians all in one place.
The 2022 First Friday Concerts in the Courtyard season presents the Wampler Brothers Band. The core band is Bill Wampler on mandolin and/or guitar, Mark Wampler on bass, John Westbrook on guitar and/or harmonica, Jerry Hopkins on guitar or mandolin and Jay Shenk on viola- and they all sing.
They play mostly a form of bluegrass. It’s not traditional bluegrass and not really contemporary bluegrass. They like to call it Swampgrass. They also play an acoustic set when They play some CSN or Jackson Browne etc.
Saint. Juliens Creek Revival is a Bluegrass/Americana band from the Hampton Roads area. They are a 2020 and 2021 VEER Award nominee in the Bluegrass/Americana category. Formed in 2016 out of Norfolk, VA, the members of Saint Juliens Creek Revival were brought together through the local bluegrass music picking circles. Recognizing a mutual love of traditional music and three-part harmony, they soon branched off to explore their own sound, and Saint Juliens Creek Revival was born.
The varied backgrounds of its members provide a unique combination of musical styles that is both contemporary and steeped in tradition, with influences ranging from Appalachian ballads to European gypsy jazz to Rock & Roll, performed with an upbeat, bluegrass-style implementation.
Latin Jazz Conspiracy offers a variety of traditional and contemporary styles ranging from bolero, samba, cha-cha, salsa, bossa nova, and more. These energetic, world-class musicians will power-up a dynamic performance that compliments the exhibit Soul Finger Project.
The Music and Dance of Ghana and Guinea.
West African culture comes to life as Tidewater African Cultural Alliance and Atumpan Dance Theatre combine their collective skills in traditional West African music, song, and dance. The performance is a passport to Ghana and Guinea West Africa, allowing visitors to travel to the Gold Coast and Niger River Valley on a flight of movement and music. Visitors can join in the experience by learning traditional Ghanaian and Malinke dances while also becoming part of the percussion orchestra.
The Rhythm Project is a world percussion ensemble dedicated to nurturing self-esteem through individual, and cooperative achievement. Founded in 1996, the program was started in Portsmouth, VA by the Virginia Arts Festival. The All-Stars, 2009, 2010, and 2019 are Virginia International PANFest Grand Champions have earned international acclaim and collaborated with many prominent artists.
Check Back for Future Performances
Make plans to visit during our monthly FIRST SATURDAY events! There will be S.T.E.M.-ori- ented, hands-on, and family friendly activities focused on a particular theme the first Saturday of
each month. Join us April 2nd as we examine local transportation and program ozobot robots to complete historical challenges! Stop by May 7th for Portsmouth then-and-now to explore architecture and complete mini Lego builds of local landmarks! Visit us June 4th for War of 1812 STEM to learn about the Battle of Craney Island and try your hand at building coastal forts! Check our website for times and further details.