“The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” opened at Epcot on February 1, 2021 at The American Adventure, inviting guests on a musical tour of the United States to learn more about this colorful, inspiring, and constantly evolving genre of music. This new exhibit features Joe Gardner, the musician, mentor, and teacher from “Soul,” as he shares the rich and surprising history of jazz from several influential cities: New Orleans, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Walt Disney Imagineering is thrilled to bring the compelling story of jazz to EPCOT,” said Carmen Smith, Executive, Creative Development and Inclusion Strategies, Walt Disney Imagineering. “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.”
The exhibit showcases historic pieces from world-renowned jazz musicians, including:
- Jazz legend Louis Armstrong’s Selmer trumpet
- “Jazz Jubilee” sheet music, handwritten by Jelly Roll Morton, one of the genre’s original performers and composers
- “Skin Deep” percussion sheet music of Duke Ellington drummer Louie Bellson
- Cornet belonging to Bix Beiderbecke, an early jazz soloist from the 1920s
- Drumsticks of Gene Krupa, member of influential jazz groups such as the Benny Goodman Orchestra and Tommy Dorsey’s band
Guests will also soon be able to use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to interact with the exhibit and test their knowledge of jazz. This is a fun addition to the American Adventure Pavillion.