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Enjoy Music City’s Four Great Music Museums

by Cass Teague
Visit the Jefferson Street Sound Museum on historic Jefferson Street.

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is the only museum of its kind dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of Black music in America. The museum’s expertly-curated collections share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present. NMAAM is the premier global destination for music lovers of all generations and inspires, educates, and transforms your appreciation of American music. NMAAM’s mission is to educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack.

Visit NMAAM for FREE on the first Wednesday of each month, next on February 7 and March 6, 2024, no ticket necessary, thanks to their sponsor Nissan. NMAAM, located at 510 Broadway Ave, Nashville, TN 37203. Hours are Sunday/Monday, 12pm – 5pm; Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. www.nmaam.org/

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is one of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music. Chartered in 1964, the museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive musical collections. Located at 222 Rep. John Lewis Way South, Nashville, TN 37203.

The museum is offering pay-what-you-want admission for Nashville area residents through January 31, 2024, for those living in Davidson and its bordering counties – Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. For more info on reserving tickets, parking and proof of residency onsite, visit the museum’s website, www.countrymusichalloffame.org/. Advance Purchase Encouraged.

The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum (MHoF) honors all musicians regardless of genre or instrument. The MHOF timeline starts with the beginning of recorded music and inductees (7 classes of Inductees since 2006) are nominated by current members of the American Federation of Musicians and by other music industry professionals. Discover the stories behind session musicians, engineers and producers that you may have heard but may have never seen. The GRAMMY Museum Gallery® is an interactive facility that allows guests to explore the history of the GRAMMY Awards®, and to be onstage and interact with every aspect of the recording process.

You could spend days in the museum because there is so much to see, including one of Jimi Hendrix’s Stratocaster guitars and the stage he performed on in Nashville at The Jolly Roger; one of James Jamerson’s Fender P-Basses (one of Motown’s Funk Brothers), and much more. For info and a virtual tour free online at: www.musicianshalloffame.com/.

Jefferson Street Sound Museum (JSSM) was established to preserve the music & entertainment history of Jefferson Street and collaborate with public schools, other non-profit services and community organizations in Nashville and surrounding areas to provide arts and music programs and networking opportunities. Their programs and services target individuals interested and/or gifted in the areas of music with the influence of historic artifacts, sounds and other learning instruments, and those interested in the preservation of a key industry in Nashville’s history.

Scheduled Tours are encouraged. Please call 615-414-6675 to schedule a tour Tuesdays – Thursdays, by appointment only. Saturdays: Open tours to the public offered on the hour 11:00am – 4:00pm. General Adult $15.00; Seniors, College Students, Military, Youth and Children (ages 7-17) $10.00; Under 6 are free. Save the date: April 3, 2024, for Lorenzo Washington Day. www.jeffersonstreetsound.com/

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