The Blue Room, located within the American Jazz Museum in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, is named after a celebrated 1930s Kansas City jazz club that was in the old Street Hotel. At this intimate spot, some of the best local, upcoming, national, and internationally renowned jazz talents take center stage, making it one of the best places in Kansas City for jazz and music lovers alike.
Displays on the walls and in cases celebrate the musicians that created Kansas City jazz. Ironically, Prohibition, which put a damper on other nightclubs around the country, was one of the reasons the city became a hot spot for music. Corrupt political boss Tom Pendergast controlled the city and the police, so the booze never stopped flowing, and there was live jazz at every nightclub and hotel. While after-hours jam sessions gave birth to Kansas City jazz, performances like the ones at the Blue Room keep it alive for new generations.
The Blue Room is open Monday and Thursday from 6–11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m.–1 a.m., and Saturday from 7 p.m.–1 a.m. Minors are welcome to visit the Blue Room but must be accompanied by an adult. Most shows cost $10, and some shows are free. Please note that Blue Room ticket purchases are non-refundable.
The weekly Blue Monday Jam invites guests to bring their instruments and sit in during a jazz jam session. Jam along, or sit back and immerse yourself in the sounds of one of Kansas City's best jam sessions.
Take a look at what happens when a handful of musicians come together for a jam session in the video below.
In the mood for a Latin kick? Experience the Latin Jazz/Salsa series that gets the crowd moving on the last Thursday of each month. Prefer the Big Band sound? Come to the Blue Room on the last Monday.
At the Blue Room, stop in for Indigo Hour on Fridays from 5 p.m.–7:30 p.m. for drink specials and no cover fee.
Beyond the Blue Room, the American Jazz Museum lets you learn about jazz legends and Kansas City’s unique impact on the American art form through interactive exhibits, educational programs for all ages, recordings, photos, films, memorabilia and more. It also hosts community events like First Fridays at 18th and Vine, a free celebration of music, art, food, and shopping on the first Friday of every month outside the museum. The museum is open six days a week until 6 p.m. If you feel like taking a deeper dive into jazz, check out the museum before a Blue Room concert.
Cover photo by Jens Thekkeveettil is made available on Unsplash.