Thursday, March 3, 2022

National Jazz Museum in Harlem


Some museums have names that imply a great swath of history. Sometimes those museums turn out to be a place for quick, but interesting visit. This doesn’t diminish the fun that they offer, or the information that they contain. One of these is the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

This relatively small (1900 sq. ft.) space it is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of jazz. It offers four community programs - Education, a community engagement program called Jazz &…, Partnerships with local musicians, and its exhibits on site.

The museum is divided into two parts. In the front of the museum there are pieces of jazz history. These include Duke Ellington’s piano, and posters advertising concerts and jazz clubs.

Ellington Piano

Player Piano

Fund Raiser for the 1963 March on Washington

The back half of the space is lined with displays that provide a look into the history of jazz in different cities around the country. From New York, to New Orleans, to Kansas City, photographs and texts explore the performers and clubs from each place.

This area also acts as a performance space for its weekly jam sessions, on Thursdays at 2 PM.

The next time you visit Harlem, whether for food, shopping or culture, stop in to the National Jazz Museum of Harlem. Or better yet, head there first, and then enjoy one of the local restaurants.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • The museum is located at 58 W 129th Street (between Malcom X Blvd and 5th Ave.).
  • It is open Thursday - Saturday 12 noon - 5:00 PM, and is always free.
  • Take the #2 or #3 subway to 125th street.

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