American Jazz Museum

1616 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108 - United States





Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater. Since its inception in 1997, the Museum hosts thousands of students, scholars, musicians and fans of the arts for over 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, community events and more each year, providing an opportunity to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the sounds of modern day jazz.

Acclaimed as an “interactive paradise” by the NY Times, these exhibits bring to life the great American art form of jazz. Listening stations, touch screen interactives, and custom mixing boards complement displays of artifacts, graphics, and commissioned artwork in a sculpturally dynamic space that makes this sophisticated musical style accessible and engaging for visitors of different ages and musical backgrounds.


Throughout the exhibits, collections of photos, sheet music, and posters from the heyday of jazz create context for historic artifacts such as Charlie Parker’s Grafton saxophone and a sequined gown worn by Ella Fitzgerald.

Keeping jazz alive is the Blue Room, a new nightclub built within the museum and named after a once famous nightclub across the street. Featuring photos and memorabilia from Kansas City’s finest bands and a video jukebox for viewing classic jazz performances, the Blue Room pays homage to its jazz heritage by offering live music five nights a week.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.