23444
Illinois/Missouri

America’s Musical Roots: Chicago, St. Louis & K.C. by Train

Walk in the footsteps of jazz and blues greats as you explore the musical heritage of these three Midwestern cities in museums, historic neighborhoods and legendary clubs.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23444RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,149

At a Glance

Let the melodies of the Midwest fill your soul as music history comes alive on a train journey from Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City. You can almost hear Louis Armstrong’s trumpeting tunes as you stroll through Bronzeville on Chicago’s south side, signaling the neighborhood’s 20th century renaissance. Or hear the hands of Joplin’s ragtime refrains on a walk through the pianist’s turn-of-the-century home. But you don’t have to imagine the blues and jazz tunes that echo through these Midwestern cities—the blues and jazz come alive at night as you take in live performances at historic venues where legends once played. Combined with museum visits and fascinating lectures by local experts, you’ll walk away from this week with deeper understanding of the history and influence of jazz and the blues.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Boarding train, and taking public transportation throughout the program. Walking up and down stairs to access public transportation and getting on and off the train. Walking up to 3 miles a day and standing at museums and on walking explorations. Participants need to carry their own luggage and on the train each participant is restricted to one piece of baggage and one carry-on bag.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn how the Great Migration brought the Delta blues to the city, earning it the name “the birthplace of the modern blues.”
  • In St. Louis, visit the Scott Joplin house to find out about the life of the legendary ragtime composer and pianist, and swing by the National Blues Museum for some learning and live music.
  • Study the legacies of musicians like Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Bernard Turner
Bernard Turner is an author and historian who publishes books about Chicago history and culture at Highlights of Chicago Press. Mr. Turner is a volunteer docent at the Chicago History Museum and a Chicago city travel leader focusing on downtown and several Chicago neighborhoods, Bronzeville in particular. Besides writing and leading Chicago city explorations, Bernard is a member of the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission and a director on the board of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Bernard Turner
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Gayle Felix
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Lynde Vespoli
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Marlin Cooper
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Suggested Reading List
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