American Jazz Museum
Kansas City MO 64108
- Mon: 5pm-11pm
- Thu: 5pm-11pm
- Fri: 5pm-1am
- Sat: 7pm-1am
Interactive exhibits and films highlight this museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City. More than a collection of artifacts and changing displays, the museum also serves as a venue for educational research, as well as space for performances and community events.
Best and worst times to go to the American Jazz Museum
Something's always happening, so there's no bad time to go (except Mondays when the museum is closed). Diverse programming includes Jazz Storytelling at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of each month and Spoken Word poetry at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday, and special rotating exhibits. The Blue Room is an exhibit during the day and also a working jazz club several nights a week.
Must see/do at the American Jazz Museum
Don't miss the saxophone owned by legendary Kansas City native Charlie "Bird" Parker. Outside on the north side of the building, you'll find the Parker memorial statue. And, you'll enhance your visit by viewing the free film 18th & Vine: A People's Journey, which puts the African-American experience and the Jazz Era in Kansas City in historical context.
Admission to the American Jazz Museum
The admission charge to tour the museum is around $10 for adults (discount for seniors 65 years and older), $6 for children ages 5 to 12 (children 4 and under are free). Group rates are available for 25 visitors or more. Admission to the Horace M. Peterson III Visitor Center and Changing Gallery is free. With a combination ticket, visitors can also tour the separate Negro Leagues Baseball Museum housed in the same city-owned building.
How to get to the American Jazz Museum
Take I-70 east of downtown Kansas City and take Exit 3A toward The Paseo. A big green point-of-interest sign on the highway shows where to turn onto The Paseo. Continue to East 18th Street. Turn left onto East 18th Street. Or, from 18th Street and Main Street in downtown Kansas City, Mo., head east on 18th Street past The Paseo. Museum is on the left. The #8 and #10 buses stop at the museum. Check www.kcata.org for current schedule.
Food at the American Jazz Museum
The atrium, where visitors can get soft drinks in the $2 range, as well as complimentary coffee, features café tables with free Wi-Fi. The Blue Room has a full service bar (with food only for some special events). Danny's Big Easy Restaurant and Bar in the historic Lincoln Building across the street serves Cajun fare under $10 (kids menu around $5). The legendary Arthur Bryant's BBQ restaurant with sandwiches and ribs in the $12 to $16 range is just six blocks east at 18th and Brooklyn.
Insider tip for visitors to the American Jazz Museum
Special offers tie-in with arts cooperatives through the ARTSKC Regional Art Council at artskc.org, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Visit KC www.visitkc.com and Kansas Public Radio (KPR) 91.5 FM.
Author's bio: Mary-Lane Kamberg is a professional writer and lifelong resident of Kansas City. Along with books for adults, she writes nonfiction books for school libraries.