Visit New York’s Music Museums

Music lovers in New York City can choose from a number of interesting museums dedicated to various aspects of music that they can visit, including the ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC), the Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame and Museum, the Louis Armstrong House, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the Rose Museum at Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall. Further afield in New York State is the Bethel Wood Center for the Arts, located at the site of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival, as well as the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum located at Bolton Landing in Warren County.


Located in Lower Manhattan, the ARChive of Contemporary Music, known simply as the ARC, was established in 1985 as a not-for-profit archive, research center and music library. Including more than two million sound recordings, the ARC’s collection includes information on popular music of all cultures and races worldwide, dating from 1950 through to today, in the form of books, magazines, photographs, films, videos, press kits, newspaper clipping and other memorabilia. Its current board of directors is an indication of the high esteem in which the ARC is held and includes Lou Reed, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Youssou N’Dour, Nile Rodgers, Fred Schneider, Martin Scorsese, Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Leiber, Todd Rundgren and Jonathan Demme.

Situated in the former home of Louis and Lucille Armstrong in Queens, New York, the Louis Armstrong House pays tribute to the New Orleans-born iconic jazz trumpeter and singer fondly known as ‘Satchmo‘. Visitors to the museum will find the furnishings and fittings much the same as they were during the time the Armstrongs lived there. Guided tours through the house and Japanese-style garden include audio clips of homemade recordings where they can hear Satchmo practicing his trumpet and chatting with friends, as well as the opportunity to view photograph collections, letters, manuscripts, musical instruments and other artifacts.

Dedicated to the preservation of Harlem’s rich jazz history, the National Jazz Museum features books, recordings, photographs, documentaries and other artifacts highlighting the incredible talents of jazz legends such as Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Carlie Parker, Count Basie and Billie Holiday.