“The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” first appeared at Walt Disney World itself (in the EPCOT park), and has since made its way around the country–including a stop at the The National Jazz Museum in Harlem!
It fits especially well since the movie took place right here in NYC.
The jazz-inspired exhibit opened last February–coinciding with Black History Month, as the musical genre was originated by African Americans–and allows visitors to follow Joe Gardner, the musician & mentor from Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” on a tour of jazz’s surprising history.
The Harlem rendition of the exhibit has its own special additions curated by The National Jazz Museum, including:
- A player piano
- A working 78rpm Victrola
- Duke Ellington’s white grand piano
You can also witness models of the Joe Gardner and Dorothea Williams characters from the film, as well as corresponding virtual experiences that are accessible on the Play Disney Parks app.
Jon Batiste, musician and co-composer of the Disney film, hopes the exhibit makes people want to “sing, dance, and feel the transcendence that jazz evokes.”
“If Jazz was born in New Orleans, it spent a lot of time growing up in the Harlem community, and that energy is palpable, even today,” National Jazz Museum Executive Director Tracy Hyter-Suffern added. “Our commitment to exploring the Roots & Routes of Jazz emphasizes the ways Black music continues to shape society and global culture. Harlem is one of the world’s cultural destination points. Our partnership with Disney is a unique opportunity to celebrate Jazz, community and Harlem.”
The Soul of Jazz Exhibit is still currently at the museum, though it will be leaving sometime in February (the exact date has yet to be determined), so if you want to catch the exhibit before it leaves, the sooner the better!
The National Jazz Museum is located at 58 West 129th St. and is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Reservations are not required to see the exhibit.