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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. As important as our music is to American music, the museum’s role in telling that story is principal to our city’s role in forming the country’s culture.

Greg Lambousy, Jazz Museum Director says, “We preserve New Orleans music and we’re a platform for new music basically for New Orleans artist to create their own music, their own way and have the resources to do that.”

On display at the old U.S. Mint on Esplanade are artifacts from giants like Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Domino, but our music’s story is also told in exhibits.

According to Lambousy, “We have Drumsville, which basically tells the story of drumming in New Orleans. We have the Louis Prima Exhibit that’s been really popular and we have an exhibit of paintings by James Micholopoulas and we’ve paired that with one of Dr. John’s pianos and one of Fats Domino’s.”

The museum has been able to operate during the pandemic, in part because the vast grounds offered opportunities for outdoor performances. And just as our great doesn’t happen by accident, telling the story and keeping it going also requires support.

Saturday night is the return of their biggest fundraiser, the Improvisations Gala, chocked full of local entertainment.

“It(the gala) means everything. It’s how we keep going. What we do here with the gala is raise private monies to fund our programming, all the things we do with our education center, our jazz lab, and performances,” said Lambousy.

Click here for information on the Improvisations Gala