One of the original homes of jazz, Kansas City was the birthplace and training ground of many of the original innovators in jazz history, including Count Basie, Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Mary Lou Williams, with the Mutual Musicians Foundation playing a large part. Originally known as the Local 627 Musicians’ Union, catering to Kansas City’s African American musicians, the Foundation functioned both as social center and employment hub. Here Kansas City’s many jazz musicians convened in search of employment, better professional advocacy, and to participate in nightly informal jam sessions.
The current location (since 1930) of the Foundation still functions as a rehearsals space for members, as well as a classroom space and place for private events. Jam sessions still happen there from midnight to 5 am on Friday and Saturday nights. The Mutual Musicians Foundation has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior and is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Mutual Musicians Foundation Information
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicap Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 150 performances annually including weekly jam sessions
- Ticket Prices: Around $10, with free admission for musicians and music students on jam session nights.