If you are a jazz-enthusiast, chances are that you’ve dreamed about exploring the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The idea that it stores all the memorabilia of jazz music since its inception in the late 19th century can make any fan curious.

However, before making an informed decision, is it essential to be aware of what your experience may be like when you’re in the museum and whether your time and the $8 admissions is worth the investment. Keep reading to learn what your experience may be like.

A Collection of Jazz Artifacts from History

As soon as you enter the museum, before even checking at the front desk, you’ll notice a cornet. You may not realize its significance at first glance. However, upon further inspection, you’ll find that it belonged to Louis Armstrong; one of the most important figures in jazz history.

The cornet is only one of the 25,000+ jazz artifacts which have found a home in the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and is the largest and most comprehensive jazz collection you’ll find in the world. Exploring through the collection, you’ll come across various instruments, pictorial sheet music, tapes, records, manuscripts, and photographs documenting the lives and careers of the important figures in history who have shaped modern jazz.

Other important artifacts include:

  • The original 1917 disc of the first jazz recording made by the Original Dixieland Jass and
  • Various instruments that belonged to jazz greats such as George Lewis, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, Dizzy Gillespie, and Edward “Kid” Ory
  • Recordings in a wide variety of formats, including over 4,000 78-rpm records that date from early to mid 20th century
  • Approximately 1,400 reel-to-reel tapes, some 12,000 photographs from the early jazz days
  • Hundreds of sheet music from late 19th-century ragtime to popular songs of the 1940s and 50s
  • Architectural fragments from notable jazz venues
  • Various prints, paintings, posters, footages, and other such recordings of jazz history

We have only touched the surface of what you will discover at the museum. So if you want to explore jazz history in its finest form, then paying this museum a visit will surely be worth it.

Attend a Concert at the Performance Center

No matter how many artifacts you come across, you can’t truly enjoy the essence of the history of jazz without listening to some authentic music. You’ll certainly be able to experience this on the performance center which is located on the 3rd floor of the museum.

From a cultural, as well as a technical point of view, this performance center perfectly demonstrates the museum’s mission to celebrate the history of jazz. It allows you the opportunity to link the artifacts and exhibits with the living musical traditions of the region. Various avenues such a live musical and theatrical performances, oral histories, web streaming, video interviews, symposia, curatorial presentations, and conferences contribute to it.


So whether you want to explore the history through the artifacts, or want to immerse yourself in live jazz performances, the New Orleans Museum is a great place to visit.