By Elise Schenck
Satchmo SummerFest is Back and Better than Ever
It is that time of year again; the Satchmo SummerFest is in its 18th year, bringing the best in food and music to the Vieux Carre’. While New Orleans is a city with many festivals, this is one of the best. Smaller and more intimate, it pays homage to the life, legacy and music of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong one of the City’s greatest ambassadors.
This is one the entire family can enjoy. It is taking place at the Jazz Museum at the Mint on Aug-3-5, 2018. The price of admission is 5 dollars for adults and it is free for children 12 and under. 2018 finds the city in the midst of celebrating its 300th Anniversary; one full of grand spectacles and incredible and memorable events. So, it is befitting that there are new additions to the festival, one that is always chockfull of amazing local talent.
New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas Makes Her Satchmo SummerFest Debut
Eight artists in total are making their debut at the fest this year. Most notably, Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans and winner of many awards and honors including, a Grammy, Offbeat Magazine Award, Big Easy Award and Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, will grace the stage on Sunday August 5th, bringing what is guaranteed to be an amazing and captivating show.
“Mr. Armstrong was an influence on a lot of young children, including me. I never thought I would be in the business but then saw him as King Zulu when I was nine years old. That parade passed right in front of my house and left such an impression”, Thomas said in a statement regarding the impact Satchmo had on her life and her choosing to pursue a career as a singer.
A Weekend of Great Music, Food and Fun
Others who will debut at this year’s fest include: The Nayo Jones Experience, Bonerama, Doyle Cooper Jazz Band, James Williams and Aurora Nealand. The fest has something for everyone, with two stages of great music throughout the three-day event. In addition to those making their debut, returning festival favorites will also be taking the stage. The lineup includes legendary Artists Big Chief Donald Harrison, Bill Summers and Jazalsa, Preservation Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, Ellis Marsalis, Corey Henry’s Treme’ Funktet and many others.
Great music is a staple of New Orleans, drawing people from around the globe to experience the sounds of the world that’s given the gift of Jazz to the world. But the other ingredient that makes New Orleans special is its food. The culinary lineup includes some of New Orleans favorites: The Big Cheezy, Central Grocery, Roux Carre’, Praline Connection, Palmer’s Jamaica Restaurant, Plum Street Snoballs and many others.
Kick-Off Party Supports Worthy Cause
For those who want to support French Quarter Festival, Inc. there is a fundraiser on Thursday August 2nd at the Omni Royal Orleans with music by talented New Orleans vocalist John Boutte. Also, at the event the 2018 Spirit of Satchmo Awards will be given to those that honor and champion New Orleans music and culture. This year’s honorees are Ashlin Parker, Bethany Bultman and Ellis Marsalis.
As many festivals are memorable extravaganzas that shows the best of the city’s and what makes it such a marvelous and splendid place that lies on the mouth of Mississippi; the posters from such events are highly sought after, created by some of the best visual artists in the City. This year’s Satchmo SummerFest Poster was designed by New Orleans Artist Lionel Milton, who was part of the original Ya/Ya Artist Collective and have since become world renown selling his works to collectors from around the globe, in addition to his work appearing in advertisements for companies ranging from ESPN, UBER, Heineken, Red Bull and others. “Satchmo’s Music was part of my childhood. He was one of the greatest cultural contributors ever. My art is like visual jazz,” Milton says in a statement, who himself has become a cultural ambassador for the city in his own right. Additionally, the original oil painting of the poster will be up for auction at the official kick-off party.
Preserving the Culture, and Heritage of the City and Promoting Local Pride
Satchmo SummerFest is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, which also produces French Quarter Festival in April and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. promotes the Vieux Carre’ and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city that is a cultural jewel that continues to shine being enjoyed by both locals and tourist. Satchmo SummerFest is one of the many festivals that makes this city great, building community and instilling increased pride in the people of New Orleans.