The 15th Anniversary Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron is July 31st – August 2nd at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint. Produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron is an unparalleled celebration of the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans’ native son, Louis Armstrong. The event 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 including new vendors the Rib Room and Tujague’s. The Satchmo Symposium, Pops’ Playhouse for Kids, and Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans – a new exhibit done in partnership with the Louis Armstrong House and Louisiana State Museum – are scheduled inside the air-conditioned Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint.
In 2015, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. will implement a nominal $5 daily admission fee (kids 12 and under are free). This fee will be used to keep the quality of the event high and build towards growth and future expansion.
Opening Night Festivities
On Thursday, July 30th, Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron will kick-off with a fundraiser to benefit French Quarter Festivals, Inc. A special screening of the 1956 classic, High Society, will take place at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Starring Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly, the film – the last Grace Kelly made before marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco – follows the story of a musician vying for his ex-wife’s affections. High Society was nominated for two Oscars, including Best Song, for Cole Porter’s “True Love.” A limited number of tickets are available for $50, and balcony seating is now available for $25. Tickets may be purchased at www.fqfi.org. Admission will include refreshments including champagne and gourmet popcorn. Hats, gloves, and seersuckers are encouraged for this red carpet event!
Live, Local Music and Free Dance Lessons
Artists making their Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron debut in 2015 include Deacon John, Jamil Sharif, The Palm Court Jazz All Stars, and Ecirb Müller’s Twisted Dixie, a project of Dr. Brice Miller that takes the relaxed vibe of traditional jazz and updates it with elements of pop, hip hop, go-go, swing, dub-step and free jazz.
Jewel Brown returns to Satchmo SummerFest for the first time since 2005. In the 1960’s, the vocalist was offered positions with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong and “immediately” chose Armstrong. The two worked together for seven prolific years that included international tours and films. In addition to her Saturday, August 1st performance with the Ella and Louis Tribute Band, Ms. Brown will be interviewed by Fred Kasten at the Old U.S. Mint at 2:30pm.
Grammy-winning percussionist Bill Summers also returns to perform jazzed up versions of Afro-Cuban and Latin roots music with his band, Jazalsa. Summers, an original member of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band, worked with Quincy Jones on the musical score for “Roots”, performed with Los Hombres Calientes, and has collaborated with countless artists including Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Anita Baker, Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Prince, Sting, Stevie Wonder, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band makes a rare Satchmo SummerFest appearance by closing out the Red Beans & Ricely Yours Stage on Friday, July 31st. Since 1983, Rebirth has upheld the New Orleans brass band tradition while infusing it with funk and hip-hop to create a signature sound. Festival organizers are thrilled to welcome them back to the event after a five-year hiatus due to their international touring schedule.
Returning festival favorites include: Connie Jones and Tim Laughlin, Charmaine Neville, Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders, James Andrews, Jeremy Davenport, Kermit Ruffins, Lars Edegran’s Ragtime Orchestra, Meschiya Lake, PresHall Brass Band, Robin Barnes, Shannon Powell Traditional All Star Band, Treme Brass Band, Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints, 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. Click here to view the full music schedule: http://fqfi.org/satchmo/
Satchmo Symposium: Three Days of Fascinating Speakers and Discussions
Fascinating lectures and discussions about Louis Armstrong and the history and influence of jazz in New Orleans will also take place inside the museum. Curated by Fred Kasten and Dr. Connie Atkinson, the lecture series attracts the highest caliber of speakers and jazz historians. The Symposium begins with a keynote conversation commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: Musical First Responders. During this moving panel, Satchmo SummerFest will remember and honor those who worked tirelessly to help rebuild the irreplaceable infrastructure that supports New Orleans music – those who comforted, gave housing, replaced instruments, and supplied the practical necessities that gave the music a chance to return. Representatives of these musical first responders – including Jordan Hirsch, Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Robert Lyall, Derrick Tabb, andReid Wick – will discuss what we have learned in the decade since the flood with moderator Fred Kasten.
Other Symposium presenters include Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, famous jazz writer and multi-Grammy Award winner Dan Morgenstern, record producers Scott Wenzel and Scott Billington, singers Jewel Brown andDaryl Sherman, David Sager (trombonist and curator for the Library of Congress’ National Jukebox), author and educator Mick Carlon, WWOZ host and music historian David Kunian, Dr. Bruce Boyd Raeburn (Curator of Tulane University’s Hogan Jazz Archive), music writer John Swenson, clarinetist Evan Christopher, and more. A full schedule is online athttp://fqfi.org/satchmo/fests/
In celebration of Satchmo SummerFest’s 15th anniversary, FQFI and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities have collaborated to produce a keepsake Symposium program with content provided by Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine, an award-winning publication that documents the state’s arts, culture, history, and literature. Also marking the anniversary are the inaugural ‘Spirit of Satch’awards honoring those who have championed New Orleans music and culture. The awards will be given during the opening ceremony on Friday, July 31st.
Family Fun at Pops’ Playhouse
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 can make crafts like second line umbrellas, homemade instruments, and Zulu coconuts, visit the Satchmo Book Nooksponsored by the New Orleans Public Library, or attend Learning from Louis, an interactive presentation by author and schoolteacher Mick Carlon where kids will learn the fine art of “scattin’ like Louis.”
Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans
While inside the museum, visitors can also enjoy the new, never-before-seen exhibit, Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans. A collaboration between Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron, the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, New York, and the Louisiana State Museum, the exhibit includes rare artifacts such as Armstrong’s first cornet from the New Orleans Colored Waifs’ Home side-by-side (for the first time ever) with the last Selmer trumpet he brought to his final visit to New Orleans in 1968. Pages from Armstrong’s unpublished manuscripts will be included, in addition to rare audio from Armstrong’s private tapes. Numerous photographs will follow Armstrong from his upbringing to later return visits, such as his first heroic trip home in the summer of 1931 and the time in 1949 when Armstrong’s boyhood ambition of being named “King of the Zulus” was finally realized. Armstrong’s difficult relationship with the city’s race relations will also be touched on, including when Armstrong stayed away from home for decade because his integrated band of All Stars was prohibited from performing in public in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
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 presented by Chevron features an array of special events including the annualJazz 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 Storyville Stompers at 10:40 a.m. on Friday, July 31st. 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 announce the “Spirit of Satch” award winners. Winners will be champions of jazz in the areas of: ‘Corporate and Community Superstar’, ‘Jazz Education’, ‘Keeping Traditional Jazz Alive and Well’, ‘Keeping Traditional Jazz in the News’, and ‘Preserving our Musical Legacy’.
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. For the 2015 Satchmo SummerFest, Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts is sponsoring a full day of music on Saturday, August 1. Contact Georgia Rhody at (504) 522-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org more information on how to get involved with this dynamic and rewarding program.
Thank you, Title Sponsor Chevron and other Sponsors and Community Partners:
Abita Brewing Company, Amtrak, Badine Land Limited, The Berger Company, Biz New Orleans, BMI, Bombay Club, Broussard’s, Buffa’s Bar & Restaurant, Caesars Foundation, Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, Downbeat Magazine, Ella Fitzgerald Foundation,Finlandia, Ford, Forever New Orleans, French Market Corporation, Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrelson Trumpets, Hermann Grima & Gallier, In the NOLA, Jack Daniel’s, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, JAX Parking, Korbel, Krewe, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, Laurel Communications, Le Petit Theater, Louisiana Cookin’, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Louisiana Life, Mardi Gras World, 92.3 Nash, National Park Service, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Original Daiquiris, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Ninja Restaurant, NOLA Defender , NOLA Jitterbugs, OffBeat, Old School 106.7, Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, Omni Royal Orleans, Orpheum, Praline Connection, Pelican Ice, Pepsi, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Power 102.9, Rentech, Rolland Safe and Lock, Rouses, Royal House, Sonoma Cutrer, Spotted Cat Music Club, St Charles Magazine, State Farm,Tequila Herradura, The Louisiana State Museum, The Ticket 106.1, TravelHost Magazine, Tulane Medical Center, Vinyl District, Where Magazine, Where Y’at, Windsor Court Hotel, WWL Channel 4, WWNO 89.9 FM, WWOZ,Zapp’s Potato Chips, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.
Happy Birthday, Satchmo!
Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron 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 in1971 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.