Satchmo Summerfest

Troy Andrews, aka "Trombone Shorty" at Satchmo Summer Festival 2007. Photo courtesy of Hao-Peng Liao
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Country and Region United StatesLouisiana
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Festival Contact Information

Satchmo Summer Fest
French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
400 North Peters Street, Suite 205
New Orleans, LA 70130 USA
Phone: (01) 504-522-5730, or 800-673-5725
Fax: (01) 504-522-5711

Festival Description

New Orleans’ native son, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, is honored in true New Orleans fashion at the Satchmo Summerfest. From brass bands to big bands and early jazz to All-Star sounds, learn about the phenomenal man who cultivated the language of jazz and experience the undeniable influence he has on the culture of the Crescent City still to this day. In New Orleans, Satchmo’s legacy and spirit lives on. The jazz-inspired program includes educational seminars, an outdoor music festival, exhibits, a jazz mass, activities for budding young jazz fans, a club crawl, local cuisine, and a star-studded line-up of performances from local and international jazz musicians.

Three stages of music on the grounds of the Mint and one stage at the French Market will include traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, brass bands, and the children’s stage, with family activities. Musical performers include Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, trumpeter and current leader of Preservation Hall Band, Mark Braud and the New Orleans Jazz Giants, Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints (from Japan), Rebirth Brass Band, Tim Laughlin’s New Orleans All Stars, Wanda Rouzan and A Taste of New Orleans, Soul Rebels, New Orleans Helsinki Connection featuring Leroy Jones, Jazz vocalist Leah Chase, Treme Brass Band, and more. This free community event will also feature free dance lessons sponsored by NOLA Jitterbugs, which will take place Saturday and Sunday on the third floor of the Old U.S. Mint at the Back o’ Town Stage. Lessons will take place between each musical set (see music schedule for details). The festival will also feature an array of educational and entertaining children’s activities, including a Satchmo collage making project, a second-line umbrella creation station sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz Celebration, an activity station sponsored by Krewe of Muses, coconut decorating sponsored by the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club ‘Junior Zulus’, and more.

Festival Dates August 2 - 5, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Schedule 2010:
  • Thursday, August 5
    • 7:00pm – 10:00pm – 10th Anniversary and Satchmo SummerFest kickoff party – at the Palm Court Jazz Café (1204 Decatur Street at Gov. Nicholls). Featuring Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints, plus special guests. Appetizers, red beans and rice with chicken, and a very special Louis Armstrong birthday cake. Abita beer and wine included. Cash bar. $65 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling 504-522-5730.
  • Friday, August 6
    Satchmo Seminars (exciting new location!) Palm Court Jazz Café, 1204 Decatur Street at Governor Nicholls (just one block from the Old U.S. Mint)
    • 2:00pm to 3:00pm - A Satchmo Serenade, Part 1: An Opening Social (open to the public): Come meet and greet this years speakers at the Palm Jazz Cafe with Armstrong songs performed by trumpeter Wendell Brunious.
    • 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Keynote Address: A Decade of Dippermouth – Through scholarship, personal reminiscence, sound and film, the Satchmo Summerfest Seminars have showcased the many aspects of Louis Armstrong. Join Dan Morgenstern, director of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and participant at every Seminar Series (who picked up his eighth Grammy award for Best Album Notes this past January for his work on “The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions: 1935-1946,”), as he presents a retrospective of the Satchmo Summerfest’s first decade of presentations on Pops.
    • 4:00pm - 5:30pm – The Song has Ended, but the Melody Lingers on: Treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection and Bradley’s Best: Clips from his Film Collection Photographer, collector and past Satchmo SummerFest participant Jack Bradley spent a lifetime collecting everything he could that had to do with Louis Armstrong. Today, that monumental collection—a stunning compilation of photographs, letters, films, objects, recordings, and much more—makes its home at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Director Michael Cogswell and Project Archivist Ricky Riccardi provide a sneak preview of treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection, many of them never seen or heard before by the public.
    • 7:00pm - 2:00am – Satchmo Club Strut — Along Frenchmen and Decatur Streets. Confirmed 2010 artists include Ellis Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Jr., Irvin Mayfield, Charles Neville, Henry Butler, Rebirth Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, Lionel Ferbos, Jason Marsalis, Simon Lott, Shamarr Allan, Butch Thompson. Participating Venues include Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, d.b.a., The Spotted Cat, Apple Barrel, 13 Monaghan, The Marigny Brasserie, Maison, Balcony Music Club, Checkpoint Charlie’s, Café Rose Nicaud, Bicycle Michael’s, FAB, Faubourg Marigny Art and Books, Christopher Inn, The John, The R Bar, Tomatillo’s, Desperados, Dragon’s Den, Yuki , and more. Schedule subject to change. ($30 regular admission/$80 VIP ticket for the public).
  • Saturday August 7
    Satchmo Seminars (exciting new location!) Palm Court Jazz Café, 1204 Decatur Street at Governor Nicholls (just one block from the Old U.S. Mint)
    • 11:00am – 11:30am – A Satchmo Serenade Part 2: Start the day, and grab a good seat, with some of the “good old good ones” performed by the “Jazz King of Toms River, New Jersey”…. our own Ricky Riccardi. The author, archivist, and Seminar favorite will be at the piano playing tunes associated with Satch, in a manner Louis himself might have suggested: “lightly, lightly, and politely.”
    • 11:30am -12:30pm – Reminiscing in Satchmo: Pivoting off of Dan Morgenstern’s keynote, longtime seminar host Michael Gourrier leads Dr. Connie Atkinson, Michael Cogswell, Dan Morgenstern and other past participants in a conversation on the birth of the Satchmo Summerfest, the Seminar Series, and its many highlights.
    • 12:30pm – 1:30pm - Louis Armstrong’s Musical Gumbo: Trumpeter Clive Wilson, drummer Herman Lebeaux, and pianist Butch Thompson (long associated with Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” explore the New Orleans ingredients – the elements and styles - that contributed to Louis Armstrong’s revolutionary trumpet playing.
    • 1:30pm – 2:30pm - The King in Queens:  In 1943, Louis and his wife Lucille settled in a modest frame house in the Queens Borough of New York City.  Today their home is a National Historic Landmark open as a museum. The museum also holds the world’s largest public archives devoted to a single jazz musician. Michael Cogswell, Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will take you on a virtual tour of the Armstrong’s home and share photographs, home-recorded audio tapes, scrapbooks, and other unique treasures from the museum’s collections. 
    • 2:30pm - 3:30pm – Kermit Goes To Queens: On July 6th of last year, the anniversary of Armstrong’s passing, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins (accompanied by the writer Larry Blumenfeld), made a kind of pilgrimage to 107th St. in the Corona section of Queens for a tour of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. It was an emotional experience for Ruffins, and ended with elegy of sorts – Kermit playing a few numbers on Armstrong ‘s front porch. Join Ruffins and Blumenfeld as they recount the experience, after which Kermit admitted “”My life has changed…it’s like someone pressed the reset button on me.”
    • 3:45pm – 5:00pm – Cinematic Satch with Ricky Riccardi, Part One: Behind the Iron Curtain– Back for the third straight year with a satchel-full of rare film clips, Armstrong historian, and author of the forthcoming What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years, begins his two part film series with a celebration of the 45th anniversary of Louis’s historic tour of Eastern Europe with rare footage from Prague and East Berlin of Armstrong favorites such as “Black and Blue,” “Royal Garden Blues” and “Hello, Dolly.”


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Practical Info:

  • Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint
    • 400 Esplanade Avenue
      New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Stages
    • Back o’ Town (Third Floor, Old U.S. Mint)
    • Red Beans and Ricely Yours (Barracks at Decatur, Old U.S. Mint)
    • Cornet Chop Suey (Esplanade at South Peters, Old U.S. Mint)
    • West End Blues (French Market Place at Governor Nicholls. French Market)
  • Entrance
    • The festival is free and open to the public.


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