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Cool in your (zip) code-Jazz Museum in Harlem

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Harlem is the home to a rich variety of music. In addition to the Mariachi Academy of New York, zip code 10035 is also currently home to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. I recently visited the Visitor Center of the Jazz Museum, located at 104 East 126th Street on the second floor. Inside, I found a cool oasis-jazz music was playing at just the perfect volume in a big light room. On the walls was an exhibit of large photos of past and current jazz masters accompanied by enough text to satisfy any librarian (I was offered an audio tour, but I’m a print person.) In one corner, surrounded by cushy black leather seating, is their library. Not a lending library, but inviting and very accessible. One could easily while away a few hours in that library! I was greeted by Bryan Glover, the Administrative Director, who took my picture (you’ll have to find that for yourself!), encouraged me to join their mailing list, and answered my questions. So, it’s not a museum in one’s normal image: an imposing stone building with exhibit spaces, but then, the core collection of a museum devoted to music is the music, not necessarily the objects. The Jazz Museum has CD and DVD collections, but its real focus right now is on free programming-sharing jazz with as many people as it can. Ongoing free series include: “Jazz for Curious Listeners” every Tuesday at 7 pm, a monthly course: “Jazz for Curious Readers”, and the biweekly interview series: “Harlem Speaks”. Cool!

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