The 15th Anniversary Satchmo Summerfest Presented By Chevron A New Orleans Festival For The Record Books
The fifteenth anniversary celebration of Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron was truly a New Orleans festival for the record books. In addition to celebrating the incredible growth and success of recent years, organizers commemorated the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a special symposium of ‘New Orleans musical first responders’. Satchmo SummerFest received unprecedented attention in 2015 with local, national, and international media coverage and attendance, from outlets such as People Magazine, The Washington Post, Associated Press, New York Times, ABC News, The Guardian UK (U.S. edition), National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, Parade Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, and more.
Satchmo SummerFest, a true celebration of the life, legacy, and music of Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, always falls on the weekend closest to his birthday – August 4th (Armstrong would be 114 today). Festival programming includes a Satchmo Symposium; more than 40 musical performances by the ‘best of the best’ of New Orleans Traditional Jazz, Brass Bands, and Contemporary Jazz; Pops’ Playhouse for kids; as well as a number of special events including:
- A screening of the 1956 film, High Society at Le Petit Theatre
- Five second line parades (including two exclusively for children)
- A new exhibit at Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans, curated by the Armstrong House Museum (New York) and the Louisiana State Museum (New Orleans)
- Traditional Jazz Mass at St. Augustine Church in Treme featuring Yoshio and Keiko Toyama, Treme Brass Band, and the St. Augustine Church choir
- Trumpet Tribute to Louis Armstrong, this year featuring Kermit Ruffins, James Andrews, Kid Merv, John Michael Bradford, and Yoshio Toyama
- A powerful and moving tribute to Travis Hill ‘Trumpet Black’ by Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet
- Inaugural ‘Spirit of Satch’ awards, presented to individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to support, educate, and celebrate Traditional Jazz and Louis Armstrong
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. produces three festivals annually, including Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron. The 2015 festival introduced a nominal admission charge ($5/day with children twelve and under free). Attendance numbers shifted downward from 2014, but festival organizers are very pleased with the fifteenth anniversary celebration, as 36,602 locals and visitors from all over the world celebrated Louis Armstrong on his birthday weekend. Prior to Satchmo SummerFest’s opening day, the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau reported that citywide hotel occupancy was projected to be over 80% for festival weekend – a very impressive number for the month of August in New Orleans.
Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (www.fqfi.org), the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization which also produces French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron in April and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. promotes the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well-being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.