The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a thriving center for jazz that stimulates hearts and minds, and reaches out to diverse audiences to enjoy this quintessential American music. The Museum was founded in 1997 by Leonard Garment, Counsel to two U.S. Presidents, and an accomplished jazz saxophonist, Abraham D. Sofaer, a former U.S. District Judge who gave the initial gift in honor of his brother-in-law Richard J. Scheuer, Jr., and matching funds from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.Work out when and for how long to visit The National Jazz Museum in Harlem and other New York City attractions using our handy New York City online visit planner .
Our mission is to preserve, promote and present jazz by inspiring knowledge, appreciation and the celebration of jazz locally, nationally and internationally.
The Museum is committed to keeping jazz present and exciting in the lives of a broad range of audiences: young and old, novice and scholar, artist and patron, enthusiast and curious listener. From its new location in the center of Harlem, the Museum serves the local community and welcomes visitors from across the U.S. and internationally.
Each year, the Museum produces and presents more than 80 free programs in New York City, engaging hundreds of professional jazz artists and reaching nearly 20,000 people from around the world. The Museum is a hub for live performances, exhibitions and educational programs. It is also home to our widely acclaimed Savory Collection, which includes more than 100 hours of live recordings of jazz legends made from New York City radio broadcasts aired between 1935 and 1941.
In 2013, an exciting new era began for the Museum. We created and implemented a new strategic plan that made education central to our mission. The Museum now offers year-round educational programs for students of all ages. We also developed a new membership program with exclusive content and benefits to reach out to the worldwide jazz community.
In 2015, after 15 years at our East Harlem location, we moved to 58 West 129th Street in Central Harlem. Our new space is designed to give our visitors an immersive jazz experience, in the heart of what has become Harlem’s new cultural and entertainment district.
Our ultimate, long-term goal is to secure a permanent home in Harlem with space large enough to showcase Harlem’s vast contributions to jazz, American music and world culture.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Reviews
The staff at the museum is friendly and knowledgable, but the museum is tiny and items on display are sparse with little narrative history. A make-over is sorely needed more »
Don’t expect to walk around and simply look at historical items. Change your mindset and prepare to be brought into the past as lived by your docent who will play music intertwined with yarns about in... more »
So much history in one location! It’s great to see such a positive light shed on black history. It’s a place that you truly have to experience for yourself, even if you’re not a musician. Simply embracing each artifact and sound is worthwhile. Great for learning more about jazz and the rich history of Harlem. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
Such a cool little place! Absolutely overjoyed that I found it. I was able to see some really fantastic pieces of jazz history right there in the middle of harlem. Really great and definitely something worth stopping in on.
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