Missouri Music Tour
Many cities vie for the title of most musical, or home of -- insert your favorite kind of music here -- but Missouri, with vibrant and exciting Kansas City, ragtime hometowns St. Louis and Sedalia, plus Branson, Missouri is one very musical state.
St. LouisHistory and Music come together in St. Louis
Next door to the Joplin House is a recreation of the Rosebud bar which figured prominently in ragtime. Today the Rosebud is open for special events and lectures, and provides "cutting competitions"like in the old days, in which two players go head to head composing on the fly.
SedaliaThis tiny town is a must-stop for Joplin fans. In Joplin's day it was a major town made successful as the crossroads of four railroads, but with a big nighttime bawdy business going on upstairs over the stores that lined Main Street. And ragtime was the music of those houses. Joplin performed in the Maple Leaf Club, and there composed his Maple Leaf Rag. The site of the building is now a tiny park with a commemorative plaque (which has seen better days). There's also a great mural on the wall of one of the downtown buildings. Every year the town of Sedalia is the site of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in early June presented by The Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation and Store, which is also located in Sedalia.
While you're there, stop by the Katy Depot just because it's a charming restored historic site.
And, oddly enough Sedalia is also home to Dale Chihuly's 1999 piece Cathedral Violet Chandelier at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art located at State Fair Community College Campus.
BransonBranson is no longer the sleepy quaint town. The action happens on a strip of highway packed with cars, and with theaters and motels, side by side, covering every piece of land. Live music is the lure and there's plenty of it. It is where Middle America parties, and parties well. The mantra recited by almost everyone is Clean, Family Entertainment. You can take your children to any show. While this means that there is no entertainment aimed strictly at adults, it doesn't mean the acts are boring. Quite the contrary. There is rousingly good entertainment. The Haygoods playing at Music City Centre put on an incredible high-energy, high-enjoyment show. You can also find Spirit of the Dance, Broadway style shows, tributes to Elvis and to Red Skelton, and country music galore. Check out the discount tickets available at some of the hotels.
The music also bubbles up through Silver Dollar City. This family fun park started out as a tour of the caverns, which is still available. After a while, the owners thought they would add some activities for folks to enjoy while they waited for their turn on the tour. That gentle idea has blossomed into a family fun park with a country flavor. Equal parts rides, crafts demonstrations, food, and music set amid hills and tower trees.
Kansas CityKansas City has to be the heart of musical Missouri -- you find live jazz seven nights a week, and often in the afternoons as well. Click on Kansas City Jazz for our jazz club tour. Whether you want to put together your own evening of jazz, or would enjoy an organized jazz tour, the best place for information is JAM: Jazz Ambassadors Magazine or their Jazz Hotline (816-753-JASS/5277).
Music and Missouri -- it's a great combination.