Hot jazz, hot topics and hot friends — it must be Satchmo SummerFest. The annual festival at the beginning of August that celebrates New Orleans' most famous musician, Louis Armstrong, has many sides.
Satchmo SummerFest features a free two-day music festival at the Old U.S. Mint on four stages with great New Orleans food and beverages. There will be live traditional jazz, brass band and contemporary jazz music, along with hands-on workshops and performances for children, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Performers include Dr. Michael White, the Tremé Brass Band, James Andrews, the New Orleans Helsinki Connection featuring Leroy Jones, the Rebirth Brass Band, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's tribute to John Brunious, Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints, the Soul Rebels, Jeremy Davenport, Chris Clifton & his All-Stars, Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band, Tim Laughlin, VaVaVoom, Leah Chase, and the Brooklyn Four plus One.
WWOZ will be broadcasting live from the festival, so check out our Satchmo live broadcast schedule to find out when to tune in.
The SummerFest opens with a Satchmo Art Show and reception at the Crescent City Brewhouse, 527 Decatur Street. The reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Starting at 6 p.m., Frenchmen Street hosts a Satchmo Club Strut, where 4 or 5 blocks of clubs and businesses have live music, and one ticket gets you into most of the Strut's events.
This year there will be even more venues as the strut goes from Tomatillo's on Esplanade to The John at Frenchmen and Burgundy. The wrist bands can be purchased on Frenchmen Street for $25, and they get you into most all of the venues except the V.I.P. areas.
At 6 p.m., the Rebirth Brass Band will parade along the Frenchmen Street corridor in front of participating clubs. This year’s event has a constellation of jazz stars lined up, including New Orleans trumpet legend Lionel Ferbos, Irvin Mayfield, The Charmaine Neville Band, Ellis Marsalis and many more.
It's a grand night and all the money raised goes to support the New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration's innovative jazz programs for young audiences and communities throughout the region. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, go to their website at www.jazzcent.com.
Experts from around the world will gather to discuss, listen and learn about Louis Armstrong at the Satchmo SummerFest's world-renowned annual symposium. Seminars are free and will run from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Held at the Old U.S. Mint, at the foot of Esplanade, the symposium begins on Thursday, July 31 with an opening speech by George Avakian on "Living with Pops" from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Avakian produced some classic Louis Armstrong recordings and always has great stories and insight into Armstrong's career.
The symposium continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with free seminars and discussions featuring author Gary Giddens, Michael Cogswell of the Armstrong House and Archives, noted Armstrong scholar Dan Morgenstern, trumpeter and researcher Peter Ecklund, and writer and Armstrong film collector Ricky Riccardi, among others.
We'll be learning and sharing more as experts come to talk about "Pops." This year we hope to have some of these talks available for the first time as podcasts available on the 'OZ web site.
We'll be out on the Satchmo Club Strut on Friday, August 1st enjoying the sights and sounds, so check out our blog for the latest pictures.
We'll also be bringing live some of the best music straight to you. See a full list of the bands we'll be broadcasting on our Satchmo live broadcast schedule.