The National Jazz Museum, preserving the rich cultural heritage behind Harlem’s historic jazz scene, is a celebration of a prominent part of NYC culture. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, the Harlem renaissance had taken over the city, and with it so did jazz. Entertainment venues in Harlem like the Cotton Club became breeding grounds for a number of jazz musicians. Among these musicians were jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington. These musicians would go on to popularize jazz on a national level. Founded in 1997, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is dedicated to ensuring that this pivotal moment in our cultural history is not forgotten.
The National Jazz Museum hosts a number of events and exhibits dedicated to Harlem’s jazz scene. Walking through the museum, one can expect to see striking historical photographs, listen to rare recordings, and educate his or herself on jazz history. Housed within the museum is a collection of jazz recordings by some of the Harlem renaissance’s most renowned artists. These recordings, originally damaged, have undergone extensive restoration and mastering. Thanks to the National Jazz Museum’s efforts, live performances thought to be lost can still be heard today. In total, these performances are over 100 hours in length. The museum also offers event space for parties, film screenings and more.