Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong is a New Orleans legend who still lives in the hearts of musicians and jazz lovers the world over. A central figure in the development of early New Orleans jazz, Satchmo became a world-renowned star that helped to put New Orleans and its monumental genre on the map of the music world. And the city celebrates his legacy still today.
New Orleans’ Satchmo SummerFest, held this year from July 31st through August 3rd, 2014 at and surrounding the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter, is one of many summer festivals that occur in the city each year. But it is memorable in its own right due to the curated music, food and events that are intended to represent all that Satchmo and his contributions are to New Orleans.
The music schedule will be released in early July, but past festivals have included such artists as Kermit Ruffins, Leroy Jones, Jeremy Davenport, Ellis Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon and Allen Toussaint, in addition to one of last year’s special guests, Japanese trumpeter Yoshio Toyama. Each year, dozens of local trumpeters, jazz musicians and more congregate on all four days of New Orleans’ Satchmo SummerFest to celebrate the music and traditions of Satchmo and New Orleans jazz.
The food lineup represents a traditional sampling of fine local restaurants, many of which you can find at several different festivals throughout the year. Restaurants such as Antoine’s Restaurant, Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, The Praline Connection, Royal House and more were featured last year, and another heaping sampling of delicious foods are sure to please and impress fest-goers this year as well.
Satchmo culture and history are also focal points of the festival each year. While this year’s lineup is still being scheduled, you can get a sampling based on last year’s events and installations. They included a session discussing Louis’ Armstrong’s extensive record collection, a talk about Tulane University professor Matt Sakakeeny’s book, “Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans,” the Jazz Journalists’ Association Louis Armstrong birthday party and many more.
These sessions and events, which are held throughout the city and throughout the weekend, give a taste of Satchmo and New Orleans-themed culture that are still being preserved and celebrated each year at New Orleans’ Satchmo SummerFest.
New Orleans’ summer schedule is jam-packed with food, music and cultural festivals, and New Orleans’ Satchmo SummerFest is one not to be missed. Grab a bite, enjoy a few music sets and take a peek at the setups in the Old U.S. Mint to take in all New Orleans has to celebrate about the legendary Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.