The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure Opens at Epcot

‘The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure’ opens at Epcot

As a continuation of the transformation of Epcot, ‘The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure’ is now open at The American Adventure Pavilion.

Attention lovers of jazz! A new exhibit, “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” is now open at The American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot. The exhibit will take guests on a musical tour of the USA. Their guide will be Joe Gardner from Disney and Pixar’s “Soul.” The new exhibit forms part of the ongoing transformation of Epcot as part of the park’s ongoing celebration of “curiosity, discovery, and the magic of possibility.”

Learn more about Jazz

By visiting “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure,” Walt Disney World guests will learn more about jazz. Joe Gardner, a musician, music teacher and mentor, will share the rich, surprising history of his favorite music genre. Along the way, he will speak about some of the cities that inspired jazz, including New Orleans, New York, Chicago, San Juan and Los Angeles.

ClickOrlando quotes Carmen Smith, executive of creative development and inclusion strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering. In a statement, Smith said, “Walt Disney Imagineering is thrilled to bring the compelling story of jazz to Epcot.”

“Our team was honored to work with jazz experts and institutions across the country to explore the rich history and influence of this truly American musical art form. We hope guests are as inspired by ‘The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure’ as our Imagineers were bringing this exhibit to life.”

How the unique exhibit was created

Walt Disney Imagineering collaborated with historians and curators from top jazz institutions, including the New Orleans Jazz Museum and the Historic New Orleans Collection in Louisiana, as well as the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York.

Regina Bain, executive direction of Louis Armstrong House Museum, said of the new exhibit, “Louis Armstrong, affectionately called ‘Pops,’ ushered in a new era of musical innovation that has influenced musicians of all genres performing today.” Bain said that the Louis Armstrong House Museum is thankful to Walt Disney Imagineering “for giving light to the impact of jazz as a uniquely American art form.”


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Historical artifacts from world-renowned jazz musicians

Some of the historical artifacts on exhibit at “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” include the following:

  • Louis Armstrong’s Selmer trumpet
  • Cornet belonging to Bix Beiderbecke, an early jazz soloist from the 1920s
  • Drumsticks of Gene Krupa, who played with several influential jazz groups, including Tommy Dorsey’s Band and the Benny Goodman Orchestra
  • “Skin Deep” percussion sheet music of Duke Ellington drummer Louie Bellson
  • Sheet music for “Jazz Jubilee,” handwritten by Jelly Roll Morton, one of jazz’s original composers and performers.

Speaking of the sheet music, Eric Seiferth, curator and historian at The Historic New Orleans Collection, said that Jelly Roll Morton’s music manuscript is a “testament to the genius of one of the originators and unique voices in traditional jazz.”

Seiferth added that more than just a performer, Morton was among the first jazz composers. He said his handwritten scores, including “Jazz Jubilee,” are “tangible reminders of his legacy.”

Play Disney Parks mobile app

Jazz lovers will soon be able to use the Play Disney Parks app to interact with the new exhibit and to test their knowledge of the music genre.

Disney shared the following video from Jon Batiste, American pianist, jazz extraordinaire and bandleader, speaking of the new, exciting exhibit.