Kansas City Jazz

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18th & Vine District

Follow the downtown beat to Kansas City’s historic jazz district, where barbecue, baseball and blues meld together for one sweet melody.

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Charlie Parker Memorial

As luck would have it, two of the city’s most acclaimed museums are under one roof. A frequent stop for visiting celebrities and dignitaries, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum chronicles the stars and stories of America’s favorite pastime from the leagues’ origin after the Civil War to their demise in the 1960s. Next door is what The New York Times called “an interactive paradise,” the American Jazz Museum with its many listening stations, touch-screen adventures and custom-mixing soundboards. Keep your eyes peeled for Charlie Parker’s saxophone, a gift to the museum from former president Bill Clinton. Sample KC’s signature sound at the district’s acclaimed Jammin’ at The Gem series or inside the museum’s working jazz club, The Blue Room. Night owls are in for a real treat at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, where the late-night sounds bebop until 5 a.m. Have an instrument of your own? You’re welcome to join—this is where the jam session was invented after all.

TASTE:

Celebrities and “common folk” alike have made the pilgrimage to Arthur Bryant’s for its legendary barbecue, slow-smoked with a combination of hickory and oak woods, mellowed to the peak of flavor, then splashed with Original or Rich & Spicy sauce. While you wait in line, take a look at the wall for a glimpse of the many A-Listers to belly up to the bar. For a jazz-inspired meal, try the blues brunch at KC Blues & Jazz Juke House or a taste of Cajun country in the Heartland at Danny’s Big Easy. Both feature live music on the regular.

Souvenir Stop: Show your support of Negro Leagues heroes with a 1949 KC Monarchs replica wool cap. • $14.99

Listen to Live Jazz near the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District

The venues below regularly feature live jazz music. Check their websites for dates and times.

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12 Baltimore Bar & Café

Type: Cocktails Served | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of 12 Baltimore Bar & Café

Hot appetizers. Cold martinis. Cool people. One hip place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., live music Fri.-Sat., and brunch on Sun. Quality contemporary cuisine for all occasions. Located inside Hotel Phillips....
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American Jazz Museum

Type: Art Museums | Location: Downtown Area

  • American Jazz Museum has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of American Jazz Museum

The sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form come alive at the American Jazz Museum. The Museum includes interactive exhibits and educational programs as well as the Blue Room, a working jazz club, and the Gem Theater, a modern 500-seat performing arts center. Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District in Kansas City, this is the place where jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, and hundreds of others defined the sounds of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Today, scholars, students, musicians, and fans are drawn here to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the best music America has to offer. Additional Museum Highlights: Celebrating the artistic, historical, and cultural contributions of jazz, the American Jazz Museum includes: Rare photos, album covers, memorabilia, and personal items telling the stories of jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker. More than 100 recordings of the greatest jazz ever played. Studio 18th & Vine, where visitors experiment with harmony, melody, and rhythm. Films and special collections honoring the impact of jazz on the American experience. Special exhibits highlighting Kansas City’s unique contributions to jazz. "Where It Lives" The American Jazz Museum provides several programs and venues for people to enjoy live jazz music, including: The Blue Room: Named after the famed 18th & Vine nightspot in the old Street Hotel, this working jazz club is open four nights a week and features the best local and national artists in an intimate, creative, smoke-free setting. The Gem Theater: Behind the restored 1912 façade is a modern 500-seat performing arts center. In addition to our annual "Jammin' at the Gem" jazz masters' concert series, the theater hosts many community events and theatre productions. The Changing Gallery: Four times a year, the American Jazz Museum presents special artistic exhibits inspired by jazz, baseball, and African-American life....
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Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa

Type: Casinos/Gaming | Location: Northwest

Photo of Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa

Discover Las-Vegas style gaming with non-stop entertainment and gourmet dining at Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa, located just five minutes from downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The award winning hotel features spacious accommodations and state-of-the-art amenities. Each guestroom includes an oversized walk-in Italian tiled shower with rain showerhead, 42” HD television, refrigerator and a work desk with internet. The breathtaking views of the city’s skyline make this hotel a must see. The excitement doesn’t end with the hotel. Take advantage of hundreds of slot machines and table games or unwind with a relaxing massage in the full service Spa, the options are endless! A number of gourmet and casual dining options are also available. From specialty martinis and unique sandwiches at Crazy Olives to wood-fired Angus Beef® steaks cooked to perfection at the Journey, there is something for every palate. Argosy is conveniently located just minutes from Kansas City International Airport and provides the perfect destination for business or leisure travel. The best experience in the city starts here with our luxurious hotel and spa and exciting gaming and dining! Free covered parking and outdoor parking is available. Valet services available for $5. Must be 21. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-BETS-OFF. ...
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Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Type: Concert Venues | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The Midland by AMC is Kansas City's premiere indoor theatre for live music, comedians, family shows and private events. Located in downtown Kansas City in the Power & Light District, the original Midland Theatre opened in 1927 and hosted many well-known artists throughout its history. Following a renovation in 2008, AEG Live now manages the theatre's entertainment bookings and operations. Since its grand re-opening, many spectacular artists have graced The Midland stage - Jerry Seinfeld, Kid Rock, Paul Simon, Yo Gabba Gabba, Bill Cosby, BB King, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Roger Daltrey, Jewel, Tony Bennett and many more! State-of-the-art sound, lighting and amenities enhance the historic ambiance providing a premium entertainment experience to guests of the theatre. The Midland by AMC features flexible seating configurations from standing to cabaret seating, with live-show capacity ranging from 1300-3000. The theatre is also available for corporate events, wedding receptions and private parties. The breathtaking banquet room, named Windows on Main, showcases dramatic views of the city from the fifth floor. And The Chandelier Bar highlights the entire top floor of the theatre and features a full-circle bar surrounding a large inverted chandelier. This general admission standing-only area has four large LCD televisions for viewing and enhanced sound reinforcement for optimal show enjoyment. The Indie on Main, a modern bar on the ground floor of 13th and Main Streets, boasts a full bar and lounge-style seating. The bar opens at 5pm on show nights and ticket holders inside the bar have the opportunity to enter the venue before doors open to the public. Without a doubt, there is not another venue like this in Kansas City! ...
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Blue Room, The

Type: Multi-Cultural Heritage | Location: Downtown Area

  • Blue Room, The has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

  • Blue Room, The is a Visitor's Choice
Photo of Blue Room, The

The American Jazz Museum's Blue Room is a museum by day and a working jazz club at night. Four nights a week, the Blue Room resonates with the sweet sounds of Kansas City jazz. As the only Kansas City club included in DownBeat magazine's list of the Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the world, the Blue Room consistently books top name national and international entertainers while it continues to showcase the best of jazz in Kansas City. Back in the 1930s and '40s, the Blue Room was one of the hottest nightspots in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. Located in the Street Hotel, in its heyday the Blue Room featured some of the biggest names in entertainment. Today that legacy plays on as part of the American Jazz Museum; however, the name is the only thing that remains the same. Designed to resemble a nightclub from the 1930s, the Blue Room is a multifaceted exhibit focusing on the Kansas City connection to the evolution of jazz, featuring a wall of fame exhibiting the images of those local musicians that made the Kansas City-style swing. Each of the nine tables are in fact display cases of rare artifacts from Kansas City's musical heyday when scores of nightclubs were swinging with sounds of live music. While in the Blue Room, you can view "soundies" from a video jukebox that features performances of jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller and John Coltrane. Although smoking is prohibited in an effort to preserve the artifacts, alcoholic beverages are available at the bar and an appetizer buffet is available during Indigo Hour Friday evenings. Since its opening in September 1997, the club has built a loyal and ever growing following. Like its predecessor, today's Blue Room is one of the liveliest venues in the world with a strong heritage and a key part of sustaining Kansas City's place as the jazz mecca. Visit our online events calendar for information about performances and show times, or call 816-474-VINE (8463). To reach the Blue Room during night hours, call 816-474-2929....
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Green Lady Lounge

Type: Live Music | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of Green Lady Lounge

Green Lady Lounge features Kansas City Jazz musicians in the rich Kansas City tradition. Free of televisions you can focus on music, atmosphere and conversation....
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Isle of Capri Casino

Type: Casinos/Gaming | Location: Downtown Area

  • Isle of Capri Casino has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Isle of Capri Casino

Conveniently located just minutes away from the downtown area, Isle of Capri Casino offers action-packed gaming, mouthwatering dining and captivating entertainment-all under one roof! We have more than 1000 of your favorite red-hot slots in a variety of styles and denominations. Then try a hand at one of our 18 lively table games. Enjoy four delicious dining options. Calypso's Buffet features a sumptuous all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, featuring crab legs every Friday and Saturdays. Order up a tasty burger with a side of fries from Tradewinds Marketplace or grab a quick bite to eat while you're on the go from Java Bay Trading Co. Party the night away and enjoy delicious food and free live entertainment every Friday & Saturday at The Lone Wolf bar and grill. There is always excitement at the Isle of Capri Casino. For more information call 816-855-7777. Hours of OperationOpen 24 hoursExcept for every Wednesday, 5am – 6am   ...
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Kansas City Power & Light District

Type: Shopping Centers & Malls | Location: Downtown Area

  • Kansas City Power & Light District has been rated 3 out of 5 stars

Photo of Kansas City Power & Light District

Visitors can now experience a new Downtown Kansas City with the Kansas City Power & Light District. The $850 million entertainment district - the largest new development project in the Midwest - has reenergized downtown, creating an entertainment, retail and dining hot spot for visitors and conventioneers. It transforms itself from a unique lunch and retail destination by day to an exciting dining and entertainment experience in the evening. Below is a list of venues in the Power & Light District either already open or opening soon. • 801 Steak and Chop House • Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Theatre (6-screen all-digital theatre) • Angel's Rock Bar (rock bar with live and recorded music) • Balsano's Gelato Café • Bar Louie • BRGR Kitchen + Bar • Bristol Seafood Grill (2nd location for local seafood legend) • Chipotle Mexican Grill • Cosentino’s Market Downtown (gourmet grocery store) • Drunken Fish • Dubliner (Irish pub made in Ireland, literally) • Elements (Seasonal) • Envolve Boutique • Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (more than 225 beers from more than 15 countries) • Fuego • Garment District Boutique (retail) • GNC (features a full smoothie bar) • Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant (hand-crafted beer and made-from-scratch food) • HOTEL Nightclub • Howl at the Moon (dueling piano bar) • Indie on Main • Johnny’s Tavern (sports bar) • Jos.A.Bank • KC Live! • Kobe Japanese Steak & Seafood • LatteLand Espresso & Tea • Living Room • Lovebird • Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge (premium Kentucky bourbon in sophisticated setting) • McFadden's Sports Saloon (Irish-themed sports bar) • Mema’s Bakery • Mosaic (South Beach-style lounge) • Organic Power Dry Cleaners • PBR Big Sky (country bar) • Pizza Bar • Polished (full-service nail salon) • Polished Edge Fine Jewelry • Rooftop Park • Shark Bar (nightlife with a Caribbean flair) • Sprint Studio (retail shop) • T-Moble • Tengo Sed Cantina (south-of-the-border flavor) • The Jones (pool and lounge) • The Marquee Lounge • The Midland by AMC (3,000 capacity live music venue) • The Mixx (homemade salads, soups and sandwiches) • Whopper Bar • Zafar, Spa & Boutique • Z-Strike Bowling...
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Knuckleheads Saloon

Type: Concert Venues | Location: Downtown Area

  • Knuckleheads Saloon has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Knuckleheads Saloon

We are a 119 year old 2 story building who hosts the best live music in Kansas City! We are a Honky Tonk Blues Roadhouse, the kind you would find in Key West or South Texas. We have a cool, down home feel with a very relaxed atmosphere. So, come down and unwind while sitting inside our funky old building or sit outside in our large courtyard with a real caboose & large stage. While your here, stop by our kitchen and try our famous tacos, best in KC! Call for directions, tickets or information. Check out our website for a calendar of coming events ...
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Museums at 18th & Vine

Type: Multi-Cultural Heritage | Location: Downtown Area

  • Museums at 18th & Vine has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Museums at 18th & Vine

Take a tour of two of the city's most celebrated museums at the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. The American Jazz Museum pays tribute to America's top jazz musicians. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum re-creates the look, feel and sounds of Negro Leagues Baseball from the 1860s to the 1950s. Rates for groups of more than 25 are available to both Museums. Admission to the Horace M. Peterson III Visitor Center and Changing Gallery is free....
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Mutual Musicians Foundation

Type: Associations | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of Mutual Musicians Foundation

The Mutual Musicians Foundation is located in the heart of Kansas City's historic jazz district. Originally home to the Black Musicians' Protective Union Local 627 A.F. of M., The Foundation continues its grand tradition as a living tribute to the city's long and illustrious musical history. Jazz greats and popular local players alike continue to show up every weekend, playing the night away just as they have since the 1930s. This national historic landmark hosts fierce late-night jam sessions each Fri.-Sat. midnight-6am. Jazz rush hour 4:30-8:30pm. Food & full bar. Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. ...
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The Kill Devil Club

Type: Dining - All Restaurants | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of The Kill Devil Club

The Kill Devil Club is an adult oasis, downtown. It's Kansas City’s newest hotspot featuring hand crafted cocktails, plates for sharing and live music that moves you. For a full list of upcoming acts check out Facebook.com/KillDevilClubKC or KillDevilClub.com...
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The Phoenix

Type: Cocktails Served | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of The Phoenix

A Kansas City landmark! Locally owned and operated. Live jazz & blues five nights a week. Serving lunch and dinner ranging from seared crab cakes to sandwiches and desserts at a price that won't break your budget. ...
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Theater League

Type: Art Associations | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of Theater League

Theater League is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, performing arts organization dedicated to the development of professional legitimate theater, both as a cultural and an educational resource. Serving its constituent communities by producing and presenting live Broadway musicals, plays and live jazz in local performing arts centers, the League enriches the lives of more than 300,000 theatergoers annually across the United States.. Theater League's presentations include the top national touring companies of all of the major Broadway musicals of the last twenty-five years. In addition, the League's own in-house producing division mounts annual revivals of classic Broadway fare. Theater League presents live Broadway musicals, live theater, and live jazz in the communities it serves....
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