18th and Vine Historic District

Interesting
During Prohibition (1919-33), Kansas City officials turned a blind eye to all-night speakeasies. The city became "the place to be" for jazz musicians like native son Charlie "Bird" Parker and Count Basie, who formed his band here. Some 120 nightclubs prospered, thanks in part to Tom Pendergast-a political boss who later helped launch Harry Truman's career. Liquor flowed freely; gambling, drugs and prostitution thrived. Famed musicians like Jay McShann, Dizzy Gillespie and Big Joe Turner migrated to Kansas City to work. When the clubs closed for the evening, they retired to the Mutual Musicians' Foundation, a hot-pink bungalow that served as a rehearsal hall; today, seven decades later, it remains a second home to jazz musicians. The best time to pack into this tiny room is after midnight Friday or Saturday, when local artists gather to jam, sometimes until dawn. The two-block-long historic district benefited from an urban renewal in 1996.

Useful information

Address:

1616 E 18th St, 64108 Kansas City

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