Take part in New Orleans' rich musical heritage at the annual Satchmo Summerfest, a free jazz festival celebrating the life of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. French Quarter Festivals hosts the annual event. With seminars, art displays, live music all weekend with performances by brass bands and jazz ensembles and lots of locally made beer and cuisine, festival-goers can get a taste of New Orleans' vibrant music culture.
What to know:
Who is Louis Armstrong? Louis Armstrong hit his stride in the 1920s as an inventive trumpet and cornet player. His style of music was influential in the jazz genre by inserting solo performances into the collective improvisational music. Armstrong’s recognizable gravelly voice also made him an influential singer, who also enjoyed scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics). Armstrong’s career ended in the 1960s as a famed, popular and highly influential musician who continually influences the world of jazz. Learn more about Louisiana’s jazz history.
Satchmo SummerFest Events and Info:
Save the date: July 30-August 2, 2015
Check the official website to get the latest event details.
Music: Experience live music all weekend featuring traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, brass bands and children's programming across multiple stages. A sampling of previous performers who have played at the festival include Leroy Jones, Jeremy Davenport, Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band, Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints, The Palmetto Bug Stompers, Shamarr Allen, Rebirth Brass Band, Tim Laughlin, Soul Rebels, Treme Brass Band, Leah Chase, James Andrews, Lars Edegran's New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park programming for kids and many more.
Seminars and Speakers: Everyday during the festival, take advantage of the free seminars and discussions, featuring a host of speakers, including recording industry icon George Avakian (Armstrong's producer and friend); Michael Cogswell of the Armstrong House and Archives; noted Armstrong scholar and winner of multiple Grammy Awards Dan Morgenstern; writer and Armstrong film collector Ricky Riccardi; and many other sessions with educational and entertaining speakers who knew or were inspired by Louis Armstrong. View the seminar options.
Special Events during the Festival: Visitor’s can seek out these extra events taking place during the festival. Check out the Louis Armstrong Birthday Party, Satchmo Art Show, kids' activities and entertainment, Sunday morning Jazz Mass at historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, a traditional second line parade, a Trumpet Tribute to close the festival, the Satchmo Club Strut and more.
Food and Drink: No New Orleans party would be complete without amazing Louisiana fare. Cool off with cold Abita beers from Abita Brewing or try Plum Street Snoballs, for a Louisiana-style snow cone and save room for the many New Orleans restaurants serving up fabulous cuisine and dishes that Louis Armstrong loved.