Jazz Museums: Taking In All That Cool Jazz

Few things say “Made in the U.S.A.” like jazz music.

Musicians like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis laid the roots of a sound native to the United States. A number of destination museums dedicated to their legacy pepper the American landscape--there’s probably one a short drive from you.

From New Orleans, to Harlem and Cleveland and beyond, there’s plenty of places to learn about American music.

Consider hopping on a highway and visiting some of these national hotspots for jazz.

American Jazz Museum, 1616 E 18 St., Kansas City, MO: Found in Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine District, the museum occupies a building that’s also home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 401 Barracks St., New Orleans, LA: Affiliated with the Louisiana State Museum, the New Orleans Jazz Museum is located in the Old U.S. Mint building in the French Quarter.

Colored Musicians Club Jazz Museum, 145 Broadway, Buffalo, NY: Founded in 1971, the club was a gathering place for famous Jazz musicians like, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald.

National Jazz Museum, 58 W 129th St., New York, NY: Offering 1,900 square feet of exhibition space, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem features the Savory Collection, nearly a thousand discs of radio broadcasts recorded by famous audio engineer William Savory during the swing era of the 1930s.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH: Found on the shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has hosted more than 10 million visitors. Exhibits dedicated to famous jazz musicians are found at the front of the museum, highlighting their influence on American music, including rock and roll.

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