The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure Coming to Museums Across the United States

The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure is an exhibit that has been exclusive to EPCOT’s American Adventure. However, that is soon changing. This exhibit, which has Joe Gardner from Disney and Pixar’s Soul sharing the history of jazz, will soon be in three other museums across the country. This exhibit was originally unviled at EPCOT as “a celebration of the magic that happens when we create together – as a tribute to a musical art form that originated by African Americans and fuses influences from many different cultures.”

On October 26, 2021, three recreations of the exhibit will begin to be unveiled in museums found in cities where Jazz got its start. This will include The New Orleans Jazz Museum in New Orleans, the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Walt Disney Imagineering partnered with these local museums to recreate the EPCOT experience for local guests and also illustrate the different regions impact on jazz history and continually evolving culture.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, Soul composer Jon Batiste hopes the exhibit will make people want to “sing, dance, and feel the transcendence that jazz evokes.” Batiste shared he hoped it’d be like the joy and nostalgia Walt Disney Created in his theme parks saying, “jazz really has the ability to do that and add to that vision in a way that’s tremendous.”

In a video released by Disney, John Dennis, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Jon Batiste take a look at the history of jazz and its ability to bring people together.

For each installment of The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure, there will be a unique collection of artifacts that are curated by local museums. Visitors will also be able to see two maquettes of characters Joe Gardner and Dorothea Williams from Disney and Pixar’s Soul. Guests will be invited to make the experience virtual by taking a picture with Joe and the band and then can test their knowledge of jazz while interacting with the exhibit using the lay Disney Parks mobile app.

The first iteration of this exhibit outside of EPCOT will be in the region considered the “birthplace of jazz.” New Orleans Jazz Museum in New Orleans will open its version of the exhibit on October 26, 2021.

On December 10, 2021 the exhibit will arrive at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. There it will show the region’s continued influence on the genre and share about some of the prolific musicians that had a profound impact on jazz.

Finally, in February 2022 the exhibit will arrive at the National Jazz Museum in New York City. This is where the Harlem Renaissance happened and where performers like Duke Ellington once could be seen performing.

What do you think of The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure coming to these three towns? Are you excited to visit one or all of these museums? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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