Saturday 12 August 2023


Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4th 1901. After being arrested as a boy for disturbing the peace, he was remanded to the New Orleans Colored Waif’s Home for Boys. There, under the tutelage of music teacher Peter Davis, Armstrong joined the band and harnessed his music skills.

After leaving the home, Armstrong made a name for himself around New Orleans by playing his cornet in speakeasies. In 1921, Armstrong caught the attention of the great cornetist Joe “King” Oliver and relocated to Chicago. Throughout the 1920s, Armstrong’s popularity rose and he performed in various musical groups - becoming one of the most sought after musicians in Chicago and New York. He eventually formed a band, Louis Armstrong, and His All Stars, which featured a rotating group of all-star musicians.

Armstrong’s rough and throaty voice soon become the symbol of jazz for international fans. His 1956 recording of George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" with Ella Fitzgerald became one of the most popular recordings of the 1950.

๐Ÿ“ธ Photograph by Isaac Sutton. Johnson Publishing Company Archive. Courtesy J. Paul Getty Trust and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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