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16th Annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron closes with unforgettable performances and magic moments at Jackson Square music stages, the Satchmo Symposium, Pops’ Playhouse for Kids, and indoor swing dance lessons at the new Back o’Town Stage

August 11, 2016 Destination North America No Comments Email Email
unnamedFrench Quarter Festivals, Inc. dramatically reinvented its annual Satchmo SummerFest in 2016, with a major venue change to iconic Jackson Square. The event celebrates native son, Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong on his birthday weekend, and features traditional jazz performances by some of New Orleans’ finest musicians along with special guest artists.

 Throughout the weekend, a number of unforgettable and unique performances took place on the Festival’s stages – including sets by Victor Goines (festival debut) and Catherine Russell (festival debut), along with local favorites like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Dozens of tributes to Pete Fountain took place throughout the weekend, both on music stages and at the Satchmo Symposium. Some of the very moving homages to Fountain included Yoshio Toyama’s set with clarinetist Tom Fischer on the ‘Red Beans and Ricely Yours Stage’, and Festival headliner James Andrews dedicated his entire set to honor Pete Fountain. The Satchmo Symposium quickly adjusted the schedule and added multiple screenings with rare footage of Pete Fountain playing with Louis Armstrong, including an appearance on the Mike Douglas Show in May 29, 1970.  Throughout Festival, musicians also paid tribute to the beloved Jo ‘Cool’ Davis – longtime emcee and doorman at Tipitina’s and well-known Gospel singer, who also passed over the weekend.

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The Fleurty Girl Back o’ Town Stage Brought Two Days of Dance Lessons and Trad Jazz
Photo by Zack Smith

The 16th annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron attracted over 26,000 fans, including visitors from as far Sweden, Japan, England, and all over the United States. Attendance numbers were lower than 2015 because of unprecedented rainy weather forecasts for the weekend, and a rare tornado touchdown in the nearby Treme neighborhood the day before Festival opening. Although the weather reports were grim, Satchmo SummerFest enjoyed picture perfect weather all three days of Festival. On Saturday, the cloud cover created a wonderful drop in temperature and breezes throughout the Festival and the city.  Festival goers enjoyed picnicking in Jackson Square on the lush grass, and under the covered picnic tables throughout the park. Click here to view photos by Festival photographer, Zack Smith. 
The 2017 Satchmo SummerFest is scheduled for August 4-6 (with Opening Day falling on what would be Louis Armstrong’s 116th birthday).

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