Savannah Jazz History and Hall of Fame Exhibit

The Savannah Jazz History and Hall of Fame Exhibit is now open to the public.  Located in the Savannah History Museum, for the first time, the exhibit tells the rich story of Savannah’s jazz history that is as old an important as that of New Orleans.


Like New Orleans, Savannah was one of jazz’s birthplaces and has been a leading center of the art form through its noted composers, performers, venues, festivals, media, and businesses since the 1920s.  Utilizing a combination of artifacts, displays, and interactive multimedia, the exhibit brings to life Savannah’s storied jazz history from its inception to today.


A key component is the Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame, now totaling 45 inductees who represent a who’s who in the jazz world.  The biographies, visuals about their lives, music, and contributions to jazz will clearly establish Savannah’s place as a major center for the art form.  From Joe “King” Oliver, Louis Armstrong’s mentor—to Johnny Mercer, Savannah’s famed composer and vocalist—to acclaimed bassist and composer Ben Tucker, who led the jazz revival from the 70s—the Jazz Hall of Fame will give visitors an understanding of the legends of Savannah jazz.


Visuals and stories of the vibrant old West Broad Street (now MLK Blvd.) scene illustrate the importance of this once-great jazz mecca.  Images of Tybrisa Pavilion, the legendary dance hall on Tybee Island that hosted the top big bands of the day, black and white, bring this big band scene to life.  Artifacts on display include Ben Tucker’s historic bass violin, Johnny Mercer’s Oscar award for “Moon River” and other memorabilia, artifacts from the estate of James Moody including his favorite horn, photos and posters from Savannah Jazz Festival and acclaimed concerts with the top jazz performers in the world.


Visit at 301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..