Satchmo Summerfest 2018: Two Birthdays For Louis Armstrong


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Satchmo Summerfest
Louis Armstrong House and Museum
Queens, NY
August 3-5, 2018

New Orleans, the birthplace of Louis Armstrong celebrated August 4th, 2018 with this three day affair for the eighteenth year produced by French Quarter Festivals at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter.

In Corona, Queens, New York at Louis Armstrong's House and Museum they celebrated on July 4th and continue with public Garden Parties till August 11th with trumpeter Bria Skonberg. The Columbia University Alumni radio DJ Phil Schaap celebrates both days with 24 hours of Louis Armstrong's recordings streamed on WKCR-89.9. Why two, well Louis may have fudged his application to be older and recently a Baptism clouded the date from a birthday in 1900 to 1901?

Surrounding the money in the Old U.S. Mint on three stages a history of Jazz unfolded with recognized Traditional trumpeters Wendell Brunious from Preservation Hall, the youthful Mark Braud recently returned from The Harry Show and James Williams of the Swamp Donkeys, Yoshio Toyama with a few Dixie Saints, Kevin Clark leading the Dukes of Dixieland, Clive Wilson titled Satchmo Serenaders, Jeremy Davenport, Ashlin Parker and Marla Dixon who led the Shotgun Jazz Band.

An exciting repertory band with Lars Edegran who led the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra from the piano. The youthful newbies Aurora Nealand, soprano saxophone or clarinet, led her Royal Roses fresh from nearby Frenchman Street where many of these local players perform.

Jazz education at the New Orleans Jazz Museum included the opening of a Professor Longhair exhibit. Known as Roy Byrd, “Fess" for short, was a composer pianist recognizable since 1959 by his vocal, “You ought to 'Go to the Mardi Gras'" whistling over that infectious R&B rolling rhythm.

Flying in from the Armstrong House Museum was Ricky Riccardi whose official title Director of Research Collections belies his enthusiasm and prodigious consumption of donuts. Listed as making an appearance in at least five Satchmo Legacy Stage “Learn about Louis" Talks, his own most encompassing “Video Pops: The First Fifty Years" highlighted Louis Armstrong's success with “What a Wonderful World" followed by a viewing of Mike Douglas TV Shows. He admitted contributing accurate references and photos to display on the movie screens powered by his Apple laptop to Catherine Russell's “Pops and Billie Holiday," Paul Kahn's “Minstrel Roots," Scott Wenzel's “Pops and Bert Williams," pianist Daryl Sherman's “Satchmo the Composer," and probably a few more.

Three Stages of Music every hour from noon to 5 or 6pm, Food from local eateries, Beer and wine and souvenirs with the logo on everything imaginable make it worth returning to again in 2019 to hear more of Pops Swing-Jazz in the August heat.

This story appears courtesy of Watch Jazz Happen by Dan Kassell.
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