Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong
It is that time again where the City celebrates the life and legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, an icon who was a innovator bringing the music and culture of New Orleans to the world.
Satchmo SummerFest will take place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint on August 2–4, 2019.In a City where many festivals are out of reach of locals, this is one of the more affordable festivals costing $6 for adults with children 12 and under are getting in free.
The proceeds from the festival helps support local musicians and pay for the event. Admission also provides access to the Jazz Museum’s collection and exhibitions plus indoor activities like Pops’ Playhouse for Kids powered by Entergy, Hilton Satchmo Legacy Stage featuring discussions, and presentations by renowned Armstrong scholars.
What is A New Orleans Festival without Food and Music?
The 2019 festival lineup includes more than 30 acts, ranging from traditional jazz to swing, brass and marching bands, funk, R&B, jazz fusion, and more performing on two tented stages over three days.
And what is a New Orleans festival without food. The culinary lineup features includes many of its regulars as well as newcomers to the fest. Dorignac’s Food Center has been added to its culinary lineup; the beloved local grocer will serve Armstrong’s famously favorite dish, Red Beans and Rice. Another debut, Gulf Tacos will offer up pork belly, shrimp, and fish tacos, along with street corn, and attendees can look forward to Jambalaya from debut Rusty Pelican.
Returning favorites include Big Cheezy, Café Dauphine, Company Burger, Plum Street Snoballs, Quintin’s Ice Cream, just to name a few of the many choices festival goers will be able to sample during the weekend dedicated to Satchmo .
New Orleans The Most Musical City In America
One of the performers that is a staple at the event is world renowned vocalist Charmaine Neville, “I love this festival,” she says excitedly. “I don’t know why it took so long to dedicate a festival to the number one son of New Orleans. He did so much for our City and putting it on the musical map.”
The festival almost two decades old is still a small intimate affair by New Orleans standards, but it continues to grow. “I appreciate being asked to play every year. I am glad to see more young people learning more about who he is and his significance. That is what I do when I go into the schools who Louis was.” Says Neville.
Another performer at the fest is legendary percussionist Bill Summers, feels equally good about hitting the stage, “I always enjoy playing Satchmo Fest. During our set we will feature some of the music of Herbie Hancock and music from a guy named Gregory Porter.” Summers, who believes that music has much deeper purpose will be inviting some homeless people to attend giving voice to their plight. “There are two tunes in particular I am moved by Porter, Take me to the Alley and Holding On.” Continuing he says, “We are going to invite some homeless people and trombonist and singer Michael is going to sing to the homeless. It is my hope that we can work toward solving this problem not just in New Orleans, but all over the world.”
Art and Soul
As is many festivals in New Orleans, the commemorative poster is always a collector’s item. This year is no different; this year’s poster is by Artist Ayo Scott, son of the late scholar and artist John Scott. “It is my profound honor to be chosen as the official poster artist for this year’s Satchmo SummerFest and have the chance to pay tribute to a musical legend,” said Scott.
“When looking at the impact of jazz music on the world, Louis Armstrong may be the single most influential person to be born in New Orleans,” Scott said. “I’m humbled to be able to create a tribute to such a man. I’m excited to share ‘Reflections of King Louie’, the 2019 Satchmo SummerFest Poster.”
New Orleans a Heritage Worth Celebrating
Louis “Satchmo Armstrong” is only one ingredient in the rich gumbo that is New Orleans Music, culture and heritage. Charmaine Neville, who is from a family that many consider New Orleans First Family of Funk speaks of the specialness of New Orleans music and culture, “My family is just one of many fabulous families that come from this city. It is a wonderful legacy to say to people I am from New Orleans. It is an honor. In my many years as a performer traveling around the world I am representing my city.”
Laughing she also says of the City’s uniqueness and many talented people, “It must be something in the water or chicory in the coffee that makes New Orleans and the people like no other on the planet. There are so many families just generations of geniuses in music: Batiste, Boutte, the French family and so many others.”
Bill Summers also revers the Crescent City and it heritage and is proud to call it home, “New Orleans is where I live. I have chosen to live here for one reason, because there is no other place like New Orleans in the world.”
Commenting on the international flair of the city he says, “It’s not in the U.S. because I have been around the world many times and this is a foreign country. It has it’s own food, dances, culture, music so much more. New Orleans gives the world an example on how to live a full life.”
I’ll Fly Away: Satchmo and New Orleans Greats Going Through the Pearly Gates
Like Satchmo, many of the greats of New Orleans Music and Heritage have transitioned leaving their mark on the world. “There are so many lineages that make our city great I lost my father Charles Neville and we are about to bury my uncle Art,” Neville says of the musical greats of New Orleans. “We have loss so many great people in our city, but I know the faith we have as a people and our faith and the spiritual roots that connect us all we will get to see those people again and it is going to be a celebration because that’s who we are as New Orleanians.”
New Orleans: The Gift to the World
Satchmo was a gift to the world; bringing the music of New Orleans music to the world, where today people are still singing his songs and celebrating his marvelous and impactful life.
He is a great figure who showed the world that a little City on the Mississippi is the home to so many great and talented people. But what makes the City great and people coming from around the world to experience it is much deeper, “I am proud of everything about New Orleans, we have the best food, the best weather, the friendliest people you ever want to meet in the world. I always tell people New Orleans is the biggest lil neighborhood in the whole wide world,” says Charmaine Neville.
Summing up what’s so special about New Orleans and its people she continues, “It is our welcoming spirit, we want people to know when they come here we are your neighbors, we are your friends, we are your family, that’s what New Orleans is to me. We are so blessed that God decided we should be born here and not somewhere else. Everything else is as we say lagniappe.”