Yesterday, I tagged along with my friend Gretchen on a home school field trip.
Unlike my kids, who are stuck in a class room all day,
Gretchen's kids are exposed to a lot more "culture",
since their school schedule is much more flexible.
Yesterday's experience was the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Misssouri.
A small, but mighty museum in the 18th & Vine district where jazz evolved and grew in the first half of the 20th century.
Luckily we latched onto a larger group that was lead by a docent so we learned more about jazz, its stars and the 18th & Vine culture than if we had just read the exhibits.
There were segregation lessons to be learned too.
I highly recommend a visit.
Ella Fitzgerald's favorite sequined gown is on display as well as Charles Parker's brass and plastic sax. It's gorgeous!
Bill Clinton's all brass saxophone graces the lobby.
There were listening stations and viewing stations for music and early films.
(Duke Ellington made the first "music video"!)
Part of our tour included The Blue Room,
a working jazz club, within the museum, where local and not so local,
jazz musicians do their thing nightly.
They even have amateur night to encourage budding musicians.
I want to go!
The Gem Theatre is directly across the street from the jazz museum.
(that's me standing under the sign)
It's a historical venue restored and updated to host jazz concerts and other performing arts events.
If you click on my link, you'll learn that The Gem was was a movie house in the early 1900s.
We didn't go inside (it was closed), but I can only imagine what its art deco interior must look like.
I'll just have to go see a show there sometime!