Kansas City’s 18th & Vine District celebrates International Jazz Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's historic 18th & Vine District jammed all day, and the jazz flowed all night on Monday.

The American Jazz Museum and the Mutual Musicians Foundation celebrated together on International Jazz Day. The day celebrates the style of music that is part of the heart of Kansas City. It's an American art that grew down those streets right off The Paseo.

"One of the things that we are known for all over the world for is jazz," said Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, the executive director of the American Jazz Museum.  "Kansas City should embrace this American art form and what it means for it because it`s the best ambassador for Kansas City throughout the world."

Whether you want to feel the music at a concert or learn the history on a neighborhood tour, the event took people back in time and showed visitors where it is now.

"It's history, and it reaches everyone who can think 200 years ago where the music started, and now that it`s here and still alive," said Clay County resident Beth Appleby, who came to town for the event.

The American Jazz Museum was on the brink of closure after a report found money mismanagement.

Kositany-Buckner is resigning from her position by May 15. Even though she's in her last few weeks, she said events like this show why the museum needs to stay open.

"I think it`s very important to continue to update the museum, to continue to expand the museum, but also to continue the programing that we are doing while all that is going on the museum should stay open," Kositany-Buckner said.

The museum hosts thousands of kids every year on field trips -- something Kositany-Buckner said is important to the education of students here in the metro.

Steven Lambert, an instrumental music instructor at Faith Academy, brought some of his students to see a band play at the Mutual Musicians Foundation for the event.

"It gives them a chance to develop their creativity and shows them that they have the power to create with improvisation, and through composition they can really express themselves through those mediums. I think that's really important," Lambert said.

"Learn a little bit more about jazz, even if you`re not a jazz lover to understand why jazz is important to this city," Kositany-Buckner said.

For a rundown of events and more information on the event, visit their website here.