In addition to being a fan of the music, a friend of many of the musicians and the Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies for 35 years, Dan Morgenstern is best known for being one of jazz's greatest writers. In addition to winning eight Grammys for liner notes and editing Downbeat Magazine, Morgenstern also published Living With Jazz, a compendium of his finest writing. Jazz archivist and Armstrong scholar Ricky Riccardi interviews Morgenstern about his life as a chronicler of the music, and especially his favorite subject, Louis Armstrong.
Because Louis Armstrong is one of the greatest innovators in western music, his personal record collection - held today by the Louis Armstrong House Museum - is of immense interest. This entertaining survey of Armstrong’s collection of LPs and 78s by Armstrong House Museum Director Dr. Michael Cogswell provides confirmations (biographies agree that in about 1917 Louis purchased his first Victrola discs), insights (the “Okeh Laughing Record” is the likely model for “Laughin’ Louie”), surprises (Miles Davis’s recording of Porgy and Bess), and delightful discoveries (x-rated party records by Redd Foxx). Because he copied many of his favorite LPs and 78s to tape and sometimes recorded spoken-word introductions, we'll also hear Armstrong himself describe his favorite discs. This presentation is as close as you're going to get to hanging out and listening to records with Louis in his Den.
Mick Carlon, English teacher, jazz ambassador and author of the widely praised Young Adult novel about Louis Armstrong, Travels with Louis, uses the lives of jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong to teach students life lessons, and has made hundreds of jazz fans out of his students “by simply playing them the music.” Carlon talks about his life and his fascinating work with interviewer Fred Kasten.
In this media-based presentation, music historian Charles Chamberlain explores the experiences of Louis Armstrong during the World War I years, which reveal much about his goals for a professional music career. Using clips from the 1947 movie New Orleans, co-starring Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Dr. Chamberlain will examine the Hollywood account of the life of the character “Satch” during World War I, and compare this fictionalized story to the historical reality of Louis Armstrong’s life in New Orleans.
Louis Armstrong always shined in duet settings, especially when teamed up with many of his peers on television. This first installment of Ricky Riccardi's "Cinematic Satch" will feature Armstrong sharing the stage--and screen--with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Durante, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Johnny Cash and more!
Tulane University music professor and musician Matt Sakakeeny talks about his forthcoming book, Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, with jazz historian Dr. Bruce Raeburn. Dr. Sakakeeny serves as senior contributing producer of the popular public radio program American Routes and filed reports for public radio’s All Things Considered, Marketplace, and WWOZ’s Street Talk.
New Orleans brass band musician Lawrence Batiste talks with interviewer Fred Kasten about growing up in Louis Armstrong's old New Orleans neighborhood of South Rampart and Perdido streets in the 1940s - when it remained much as it had been when Louis was a youngster. As a child, Batiste haunted many of the same places as young Louis. As a drummer, he learned from figures such as Paul Barbarin and Cie Frazier and has played around the world in the Magnolia, Young Tuxedo, Riverwalk, Palm Court, and Liberty brass bands, among others.
This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Louis Armstrong’s huge success with Hello Dolly. It certainly changed his career and opened up new venues for his band, but did it change anything else? Stony Brook Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Krin Gabbard considers several performances after 1963, including When the Boys Meet the Girls (1965); Armstrong’s 1970 appearance on Johnny Cash’s television program; and Armstrong’s role in the film A Man Called Adam (1966). The presentation will include DVD selections from each of these and several other films.
Outstanding jazz trombonist - and Library of Congress sound recording archivist David Sager - talks about his twin careers with interviewer Fred Kasten. Curator of the Library of Congress National Jukebox Project, David was nominated for a Grammy for his work on the CD reissue King Oliver, Off the Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings.
In 1955 and 1956, legendary record producer George Avakian followed Louis Armstrong around the world, recording him for Columbia Records. Those recordings will make up the bulk of a major new 9-CD boxed set to be released later this year by Mosaic Records, Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and His All Stars (1947-1958). Ricky Riccardi, the set's co-producer, and David Ostwald, Avakian's longtime friend, will talk with Avakian about his relationship with Armstrong and will play selected songs from the project, as well as an unissued interview between the two men in 1956.
While touring Munich, Germany in May 1962, Louis Armstrong and His All Stars made time to film a television special hosted by Werner Gotze, The Satchmo Story. It was essentially a filmed version of the album, Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography, finding Armstrong performing many songs he hadn't played with any regularity in years, such as "Dippermouth Blues," "You Rascal You" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Ricky Riccardi will be on hand to talk about the backstory of this true rarity, while screening some of its many highlights.
Drawing on the life and work of Louis Armstrong and present-day examples from New Orleans and her home city of London, British journalist and writer Hannah Langworth will talk about Armstrong and the connection between festivals and politics. Langworth holds a degree from Oxford, and a masters in Law, Anthropology and Society from the London School of Economics where she wrote her thesis on political power and carnival in Louisiana. Langworth, who first came to Satchmo Summerfest as a fan of Louis Armstrong, writes a blog about cultural and political connections between London and New Orleans.
Although never recorded, the legendary “first man of jazz,” Charles “Buddy” Bolden (1877-1931) certainly created enough of a stir to warrant a cylinder record to have been made of his group. While such a fragile item is not likely to have survived the many decades of New Orleans mold and humidity, we can draw some conclusions about how Bolden and his band - and other jazz antecedents - may have sounded based on what we know about popular musical styles of the day based on surviving commercial sound recordings of the era and on photographs of bands such as Bolden’s. This presentation by Library of Congress archivist David Sager will address questions about the style, repertoire and musical literacy among Bolden and his peers. It will include musical illustrations from early recordings of dance orchestras and cornetists, shedding light on pre-jazz ensembles active in New Orleans during Bolden’s short career.
Three outstanding New Orleans trumpeters representing three different generations of players - Connie Jones, Wendell Brunious and Mark Braud - talk with interviewer Fred Kasten about the continuing and profound influence of Louis Armstrong on their respective careers.
The leader of the Louis Armstrong Centennial Band, in its tenth year of performing at New York City’s Birdland, David Ostwald talks with interviewer Fred Kasten about the place and importance of Louis Armstrong’s life, legacy and music in his own career. A classical musician early on, Ostwald switched to jazz in college and since has played with Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Nicholas Payton, Clark Terry, Benny Waters and Woody Allen among many others, recorded often, written extensively on jazz and presented jazz education programs at Lincoln Center and the Louis Armstrong House where he serves as Armstrong House Trustee.
Members of the ‘Satchmo SummerFest All-Stars’ band - including Dan Morgenstern, Ricky Riccardi, Wycliffe Gordon, David Ostwald, Yoshio Toyama, Michael Cogswell, David Sager, and Bruce Raeburn - play and talk with Fred Kasten about the music of Louis Armstrong. A real treat!
Louis Armstrong Archivist Ricky Riccardi closes the 2013 seminars with a video celebration of Louis's hometown, featuring interview footage of Louis talking about growing up in New Orleans, along with performances of tunes associated with King Oliver, clips of Louis playing in New Orleans and later television performances of songs such as "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" and "Boy from New Orleans."