Guide to the Jazz District: 18th and Vine

The historic jazz district along 18th and Vine is truly a highlight of Kansas City, full of art, music, history and authentic Kansas City barbeque.

Artist Gabriel Smith lays out a section of his 44-piece mural.

Every weekend, 18th and Vine is flooded with jazz. On the first Friday of every month, the museum is packed with the booths of local artists selling their work.

The Blue Room has live music Thursday through Saturday and Monday.

First Friday’s offer art, live music and food trucks starting at 4 P.M.

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the incredible art that Kansas City has to offer.

For a little history, stop by two of Kansas City’s best museums: the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Both of these take viewers on an interactive journey through the exhibits.

The American Jazz Museum showcases all the greats of jazz music such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and more.

Museums at 18th and Vine.

The museum includes photos, albums, listening stations and historical instruments, such as Charlie Parker’s saxophone.

The museum also houses a jazz club called Blue Room, which hosts regular live jazz performances and jam sessions.

The Gem Theater on 18th and Vine.

The Gem Theater across the street is also a part of the museum and is a performing arts venue used for concerts, community events and theater productions as well as the annual “Jammin’ at the Gem” concert series.

Lastly, for a bite to eat, stop by Arthur Bryant’s on Brooklyn Avenue (just a short walk from the jazz museum) for authentic Kansas City barbeque.

A little nook inside Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque.

You can’t miss it as you’ll be able to smell the sweet aroma before you’re even there. Moreover, don’t forget to check out the many photos of famous visitors lining the walls.

jlm5y3@mail.umkc.edu

 

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