live performance at the jazz museum

Jazz Museum Spotlights Original American Music

The joint is jumpin’ over on East 18th Street, where the American Jazz Museum houses stimulating exhibits, displays, and special events that pay homage to America’s unique art form.

Did you know there’s a distinct variation on the genre known a Kansas City Jazz? Its signature is a spirited slide from big band swing into bebop improv, riding on an undercurrent of blues. Solo virtuosity is dominant.

All this and more is chronicled at the museum, where you can explore Kansas City Jazz and other influential styles.


Saxophonist Charlie Parker and bandleader/pianist Count Basie are two jazz legends with exhibits at the museum. Both have robust Kansas City ties. Photographs, recordings, filmed performances, professional and personal documents, instruments, and additional artifacts make up the museum exhibits for these influential musicians.

Also featured are other jazz icons such as trumpeter Louis Armstrong, bandleader/pianist Duke Ellington, and vocalist Ella Fitzgerald.

You can almost see these influencers in the museum’s Blue Room, designed to replicate a 1930’s nightclub. In addition to interactive exhibits, the blue room features a bar, and live music is always rotating.


The Blue Room brings jazz to the present by showcasing some of today’s most talented jazz performers. Seasoned veterans are also featured, and sometimes they even perform together, jamming with the combustion of partnered virtuosos.

The museum also has listening stations, making the sound of jazz accessible any time during your visit.

Educational Events

Finally, many special events take place at the museum, including several geared towards jazz education. The Jazz City Academy teaches families about basic premises of jazz, instruments, improvisation, movement and other concepts that help develop an appreciation and understanding of the genre. Likewise, Jazz Storytelling, presented the first Friday of every month in the museum’s atrium, introduces youngsters to jazz styles and sounds.

In conclusion, there’s a lot to discover at the American Jazz Museum, as well as other favorite places in Kansas City. Contact us to learn more and tour our community.

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