The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame was founded in 1978, and opened a museum on September 18, 1993 with a mission "to foster, encourage, educate, and cultivate a general appreciation of the medium of jazz music as a legitimate, original and distinctive art form indigenous to America. Its mission is also to preserve a continued and sustained program of illuminating the contribution of the State of Alabama through its citizens, environment, demographics and lore, and perpetuating the heritage of jazz music." Located in the Civil Rights District along with the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park, it offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the state's rich jazz heritage. The museum contains more than 2,200-square-feet of exhibits. TheJazz Hall of Fame also sponsors jazz performances around the city and brings jazz to many local students with school visits from musicians. Along with the priceless jazz memorabilia such as paintings, quilts, instruments, and personal effects of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald and W.C. Handy, the tour experience itself is memorable thanks to the guidance of Dr. Frank Adams. Through his vivid personal anecdotes and natural charm, he paints many pictures of jazz for the countless number of tour groups each year.
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame presents instruments, memorabilia and biographical sketches of greats such as Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole and Lionel Hampton.The museum offers over 2,200-square-feet of exhibits, enriching educational programs, and unforgettable tours lead by Jazz clarinetist Dr. Frank Adams. It is housed in the beautiful art deco Carver Theatre in Birmingham's Civil Rights District, just south of Kelly Ingram Park.