August 4, 2009 (Louis Armstrong’s Birthday), New Orleans, Louisiana – French Quarter Festivals, Incorporated (FQFI) closed the ninth annual Satchmo SummerFest on August 2nd at Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter. The 2009 festival was made possible by support from the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, under the leadership of Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu.
This year’s attendance figures indicate that over 26,000 festival-goers gathered together to pay tribute to the life, legacy and music of Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong as well as to immerse themselves in the culture, food, music, and everything that New Orleans has to offer. Even with early afternoon rain on Saturday and Sunday, the attendance numbers mirrored those of the 2008 festival. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. organizers have already started planning the 10th anniversary celebration, which will take place August 5 – 8, 2010.
With the success of this year’s festival, it is evident that Satchmo SummerFest has become a cherished event for locals and visitors, including a great number of international travelers. This year’s festival featured three stages of music throughout the grounds of the Louisiana State Old US Mint which included genres such as traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, and brass bands.
Much of the success of this year’s Satchmo SummerFest can be attributed to the uniquely New Orleans events that took place during the festival weekend. Beginning with the Satchmo Art show on Wednesday, incredible crowds were seen at all events. Over one hundred attendees gathered in Armstrong Park to celebrate at the Satchmo Birthday Party. On Sunday, patrons packed into St. Augustine Church to participate in the heralded Jazz Mass where, upon conclusion, crowds flocked into the streets to join in the second-line parade to the festival. With the closing of another successful festival it is clear that Satchmo’s influence, as an artist and cultural icon, is universal, unmatched, and very much alive today.
Happy Birthday Satchmo!
Satchmo SummerFest is scheduled annually to coincide with Armstrong’s actual birthday on
August 4th. Armstrong often stated in public interviews that he was born on July 4, 1900 (Independence Day in the USA), a date that has been noted in many biographies. Armstrong died in 1971. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that his true birth date of August 4, 1901 was discovered.
About Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong was born in a poor section of New Orleans known as “the Battlefield” or ‘Back o’ Town’. Throughout his career, he entertained millions – from heads of state and royalty to the kids on his stoop in Corona, New York. Despite his fame, he lived a simple life in a working-class neighborhood. The man known around the world as ‘Satchmo’ was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz – a uniquely American art form. Armstrong was a charismatic, innovative performer whose improvised soloing was the main influence for a fundamental change in jazz. One of the most famous musicians of the 20th century, he was first known as a cornet player, then as a trumpet player, and toward the end of his career he was best known as a vocalist and influential jazz singers. The nickname ‘Satchmo’ is short for ‘Satchelmouth’. In 1932, Melody Maker magazine editor Percy Brooks greeted Armstrong in London with “Hello, Satchmo!” and the nickname stuck.
Sponsors and Community Partners for the 9th annual Satchmo SummerFest include: The State of Louisiana – Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Abita Brewing Company, Louisiana State Museum, French Market Corporation, Louis Armstrong International Airport , Higher Ground Relief Fund, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Rhodes Funeral Home, BMI, WWL-TV, nola.com, offBeat Magazine, Where Y’At Magazine, Marriott New Orleans, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Jazz National Park, Hard Rock Café, Harrah’s New Orleans, Bernard Productions, Rouses, Lousiana Association for the Education of Young Children, Target, NOLA Box Company, New Orleans Levee, WWOZ, NewOrleans.com, New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, North Rampart Main Street, Inc., Aidan Gill for Men, and the Contemporary Art Center (CAC).
For more information on all FQFI festivals and events, call 504-522-5730 or visit online at www.fqfi.org.
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