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“American Jazz Museum” 5 of 5 stars
Review of American Jazz Museum

American Jazz Museum
1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108
816 474 8463
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Ranked #31 of 82 Attractions in Kansas City
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Activities: Leisure education
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Attraction details
Owner description: As a testament to Kansas City, the mother of swing and Bebop, this museum evokes the living spirit of jazz legends and chronicles the history of jazz and its greatest performers.
Kansas City, Missouri
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“American Jazz Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Jazz Museum is great. Make sure and visit the Changing Gallery where national recognized exhibits are always present and the Blue Room jazz club - great entertainment and recognized as one of the best in the world.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
59 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Same building as Negro Leagues Museum, but not as interesting”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

I am more interested in baseball than jazz, so this has some bias. But the jazz museum is just a more passive set-up. You move from static exhibit to static exhibit, with some very good listening stations. And you can create some melodies and rhythms, which was the highlight. But there was no sense of place. It was a general museum about American Jazz (hence the name, I guess). But I would have liked to learn more about the Kansas City jazz scene in particular- why was jazz so strong in KC, and who were the major players. I still don't know, and the museum didn't help.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
55 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

I love Jazz. I will never return to this sorry excuse for a museum.

First off, they try to confiscate your camera. Always a bad sign. Usually, museums do that to prevent their pathetic collection from seeing the light of day.

Are you ready for the entire list of noteworthy items?

* One plastic Charlie Parker saxophone

* One Louis Armstrong trumpet

* One tin of Louis Armstrong lip salve

* One Ella Fitzgerald dress

* One pair of Ella's eyeglasses

* One suit that either belonged to Duke Ellington or is simply a recreation (the exhibit doesn't say)

That's it.

It reminds me of the first time I went to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. That sucked. Nobody wants to see records hanging on the wall. Show me clothes. Show me instruments. Show me sheet music they wrote.

This place is a total rip-off.

If you want to learn about Jazz, buy a CD and read the liner notes. Or watch the Ken Burns' series. This place is an enormous failure.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Oregon
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A double delight!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

My wife and I had planned to visit the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame and found that the American Jazz museum was connected to it. It is a wonderful trip into the development of American jazz with excellent exhibits and films. It has an interactive stations where novices such as me can "mix" various instrumental themes within a song. For any who wants to know the history of perhaps the only original American music genre, this is the place to go!

Visited July 2013
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St. Neots, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Skip It-- Poorly Done, Not Balanced”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

This museum seems to be based on Ken Burn's documentary and not on any critical body of knowledge. To "get" this place you have to agree that Armstrong, Bird, and Duke are the only three jazz musicians of note ever; while I love each of them, it totally ignored others that had a significant public impact, such as Stan (either Kenton or Getz!), Brubeck, June Christy, Woody Hermann, and hundreds more. I agree with another reviewer that more KC history could have been covered, such as Count and Jay McShann. And no pioneers-- love him or not, where was Pops Whiteman or Jim Europe? Or non-Americans like Django? Also, the gift shop was small, this should be the greatest gift shop in all of KC, what a lost opportunity! Counter staff was rude, surely, and usually absent. Go to the WWI Museum or the Steamboat Arabia or the Toy and Miniature Museum instead.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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