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14th Annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron THREE FULL DAYS of FEST

July 30, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

 The 14th annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron is days away. Free and open to the public, the premier American jazz festival dedicated to the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans’ native son, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong will take place August 1-3 at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint.

Satchmo SummerFest, produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), brings performances from New Orleans’ most talented musicians, with a focus on traditional and contemporary jazz and brass bands. Festival dining at “Red Bean Alley” provides refreshing options from over a dozen local restaurants; choices range from classics like Antoine’s Baked Alaska to vegetarian-fare like Ninja Restaurant’s Seaweed and Cucumber Salad to Louis’ favorite dish, Red Beans and Rice by Praline Connection. Three full days of fascinating Satchmo Seminars about New Orleans music and Louis Armstrong are scheduled inside the air-conditioned Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint.

Live, Local Music, Free Dance Lessons, and Indoor Family Activities
Satchmo SummerFest 2014 brings a dozen artist debuts: Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays Friday, August 1st from 6:30-7:45pm. Other debuts include: The Smoking Time Jazz Club, Shotgun Jazz Band, Joe Lastie’s New Orleans Sounds, Mario Abney and the Abney Effect, Brass-A-Holics, Capital Focus Jazz Band, Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, The Norbert Slama Quartet, Mahogany Brass Band, The Ella & Louie Tribute Band, and The Calvin Johnson Quintet.

Returning festival favorites include: Kermit Ruffins, Kid Merv, Glen David Andrews, John Boutte, Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders, Shannon Powell & his Traditional All-Stars, Connie Jones and Tim Laughlin, New Orleans Moonshiners, Leroy Jones and New Orleans’ Finest, PresHall Brass, Charmaine Neville, Wycliffe Gordon, James Andrews, Lars Edegran’s Ragtime Orchestra, Treme Brass Band, Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints, Jeremy Davenport, Louis Ford and His New Orleans Flairs, and many more.

Between musical sets, dancers of all levels can enjoy free dance lessons from New Orleans’ best dance teachers at the Cornet Chop Suey Stage each day of the festival. Dance lessons are free and open to the public and are taught and sponsored by NOLA Jitterbugs and Dancing Man 504.

Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, children and parents can relax in air-conditioning on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint and enjoy an array of educational, entertaining family activities, movies, and exhibits. Pops’ Playhouse for Kids features a variety of activities that teach the next generation about New Orleans traditions. Children make crafts like second line umbrellas and homemade instruments, and Junior Zulus host a Zulu Coconut decorating station. New this year is the Satchmo Book Nook sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library andLearning from Louis, an interactive presentation by author and schoolteacher Mick Carlon.

While inside, visitors can also enjoy the Louisiana State Museum’s exhibits, including the wonderful new exhibition highlighting its world-renown Jazz Collection, Keeping Time Extraordinary Images from Louisiana’s Musical Past.  A selection of key music related photographs will be on view as well as instruments played by such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, and Sidney Bechet.  On July 30th, the Friends of the Cabildo and Louisiana Museum Foundation will host an opening reception (free and open to the public) in in the Mint’s 3rd floor performance hall. Many representatives of Louisiana’s musical families will be in attendance.   Entertainment will be provided by Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr.

The exhibits and children’s area are free and open to the public during Festival weekend.

Fascinating Speakers, Seminars, and Discussions

The 2014 Satchmo SummerFest seminars are free and open to the public and will take place all three days inside the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint. An impressive array of speakers will present seminars, discussions, music, and movies about the history and progress of New Orleans Jazz and the life and music of Louis Armstrong.

Duke University music professor Thomas Brothers will kick off the series talking about his new book, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism. Seminars are scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. Click here for full schedule and details.

Parades, Jazz Mass, and other Special Events Planned

In addition to a weekend full of great music, food, seminars, movies, and children’s activities, Satchmo SummerFest features an array of special events including the annual Jazz Mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Treme, a traditional second line parade, and the annual ‘Trumpet Tribute’ which closes the festival Sunday night with a Satchmo birthday party.

The kickoff parade will be led by the Roots of Music at 10:40 a.m. on Friday, August 1st. The full band will second line from Washington Artillery Park to the festival grounds where a press conference will be held at 11:00 a.m. In addition to making special announcements, festival organizers will honor the legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong by presenting a check to Roots of Music. Jason Harrelson, Trumpeter and Founder of Harrelson Trumpets, will also make a special presentation to the Festival. Do not miss this heartwarming, unique event and the opening of this major summer Festival.

New Satchmo SummerFest Merchandise by Fleurty Girl

Lauren “Fleurty Girl” LeBlanc has designed two shirts that will allow fans to show their love for Satchmo long after Festival closes. The women’s tee and unisex lineup tee will sell for $25. All proceeds help fund the free, community event. The shirts will be available at the festival, Fleurty Girl stores, and on the French Quarter Festivals, Inc. website (  A portion of the proceeds from sales in Fleurty Girl stores will also benefit Satchmo SummerFest.

Louis Armstrong famously signed his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours” in honor of his favorite dish. The women’s tee has this inscription, along with his signature.

Musician Sponsorship Helps Make this a True Community Event

Satchmo SummerFest’s Musician Sponsorship Program continues to grow. Like the diverse styles of music heard at the event, music sponsors come from all corners of the community and country. The Festival is still seeking sponsorships. Contact Georgia Rhody at (504) 522-5730 or email for more information.

Sponsors and Community Partners for the 14th annual Satchmo SummerFest include: Abita Brewing Company,Absolut, Avion, Chevron, City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office, Downbeat Magazine, Event Rental, Ford, French Market Corporation, Harrah’s Casino, Harrelson Trumpets, Hotel Monteleone, In the NOLA, ITS Fire Alarm, Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Joseph K. & Inez Eichenbaum Foundation (Stephen Maitland-Lewis & Joni Berry), Laurel Communications, Lionel Hampton Foundation, Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Louisiana Cookin’,Mardi Gras World, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation,NOLA Defender, NOLA Jitterbugs, OffBeat, Pelican Ice, Pepsi, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Rentech Solutions, Rolland Safe and Lock, Rouses, The Louisiana State Museum, Tipitina’s Foundation, TravelHost Magazine, Tulane Medical Center, Vinyl District, Where Magazine, Where Y’at Magazine, WWL-TV, WWNO 89.9 FM, WWOZ, Zapp’s Potato Chips, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Happy Birthday, Satchmo!

Satchmo SummerFest is scheduled annually to coincide with Louis Armstrong’s birthday on August 4th. The artist often stated in public interviews that he was born on July 4, 1900 (Independence Day), a date that has been noted in many biographies. Armstrong died in 1971 and his true birthdate, August 4, 1901, was not discovered until the mid-1980s.

Louis Armstrong was raised in a poor section of New Orleans known as “Jane Alley.” Throughout his career, he entertained millions – from heads of state and royalty to the neighborhood kids on his stoop in Corona, New York. Despite his fame, he lived a simple life in a working-class neighborhood.

The man known around the world as “Satchmo,” short for Satchelmouth, was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz – a unique American art form. In 1932, Melody Maker magazine editor Percy Brooks greeted Armstrong in London with “Hello, Satchmo!” and the nickname stuck. His influence, as an artist and cultural icon is universal, unmatched, and very much alive today.

Armstrong was a charismatic and innovative performer whose improvised soloing was the main influence for a fundamental change in jazz. As one of the most famous musicians of the 20th century, he was first known as a cornet player, then as a trumpet player, and toward the end of his career he was best known as a vocalist and influential jazz singer.

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