AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM

Kansas City, MO

Exhibit Design: Joseph A Wetzel Associates, Inc
Exhibit Graphics: Chris Danemayer & Daren Bascome
Area: 10,000 sq. ft.
Opened: 1997

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, one of Louis Armstrong’s trumpets, 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.

The young can try their hand at making their own instruments in the Jazz Discovery area, while the aficionado can listen to selections from over one hundred jazz recordings in Jazz Central, the museum’s musical library.