The American Jazz Museum is an important cultural institution dedicated to its mission of celebrating and exhibiting jazz through performance, education, exhibitions and research at America's Jazz Crossroads - 18th and Vine.
There were four major stops along the earliest jazz portals including New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Kansas City. During the "Golden Age" of jazz, the 18th & Vine Jazz District was seen as thriving and alive, often coined as the "Paris of the Plains". It was a place for grooming significant pioneers of Kansas City Jazz, such as Charlie Parker, Bennie Moten, County Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Andy Kirk and others. The strong musical foundation laid by the Kansas City Jazz fathers and mothers gave way to preserving the heritage and history of Kansas City Jazz and 18th & Vine District.
Led by the visionary efforts of civic leaders, the City of Kansas City, Missouri committed resources to the development of the American Jazz Museum, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and renovation of the Gem Theater. Joined by the Horace M. Peterson III Visitor Center, they remind us of our rich past.
The American Jazz Museum has presented thousands of world-class performances in its "Jammin' at the Gem" series, Rhythm and Ribs Jazz and Blues Festival and its award-winning Blue room jazz club. It continues to display
compelling exhibits in its Changing Gallery, to educate youth and young adults through educational programming, [?], artifact & film collections, and to host an array of community events in its facilities that will expand the influence and knowledge of jazz throughout Kansas City and the world.