Denise's Corner

“The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” Imagineer Interview with Curator Deborah Van Horn

Hi everyone!

We spoke with Imagineer and curator Deborah Van Horn at Epcot about The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure“. The exhibit debuted at the American Adventure on February 1st, 2021 and there is currently no end date. My original article includes much of the exhibit.

Here is our video interview and article.

Van Horn told us, “‘The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure’ is a look at the history of jazz. We’re using the hero of the movie ‘Soul’, Joe Gardner, who was a jazz musician and a teacher to lead you through the history of jazz”. She continued, “We’re taking a look at jazz through the lens of five different American cities, as well as several artists for each city.”


Van Horn also talked about the two cases of artifacts that are part of the exhibit, and I asked her specifically about the latest item added. “The Charlie Parker saxophone just got added in this past week. It is his Graftone saxaphone that was made in the early 1950s. And it was used by Parker in the Jazz at Massey Hall concert, which was one of the greatest jazz concerts ever recorded”.

The saxophone will be in the exhibit for the next 6 months “at least”, but Van Horn said it did not mean the exhibit was not going to be here longer. Different artifacts could be swapped out. “You might see some other surprises as you come back”. All of the items are on loan.

There is also a photo of Charlie Parker playing.

We talked about the Louis Armstrong trumpet, which he used in the recording “Disney Songs the Satchmo Way”. Van Horn explained, “That album was recorded in 1968, but it’s one that Walt Disney himself had talked to Armstrong about recording earlier.”

This is one of a couple of items in the cases with a Disney connection.

Here is our video of the exhibit from February 2nd! The Charlie Parker saxophone was not yet there.

Thank you to Deborah Van Horn for talking with us. And I recommend a visit to this exhibit that blends the history of jazz with Pixar characters.