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The First Louis Armstrong "Louie"

A Who’s Who of the Jazz world were introduced to Louis Armstrong singing “That’s My House” in the first moments of a video about “What We Do.” At this first Louis Armstrong House Museum Gala on December 6th, 2011 the first “Louie,” went to a 92-year-old, jazz cognoscenti fan and record producer, George Avakian. Meeting Armstrong many times, since 1943, he quoted Armstrong’s expression of purpose: “Bring Happiness to the World.”

House/Museum Director, since 1991, Michael Cogswell, a jazz alto saxophonist in his youth, gave mention to Armstrong’s personal photographer and avid memorabilia collector Jack Bradley iwho was absent and to Tony Bennett, who forty years ago, painting under his birth name Benedetto, presented a portrait of a smiling Louis that still hangs in the den at the House. Upon its receipt Tony said Armstrong responded, “Man, you out-Rembrandted Rembrandt.”

Trumpeter Jon Faddis, privileged to play Armstrong’s gold plated serial #1940's Bb{jcomments on} Selmer trumpet at the Corona, Queens Armstrong House ribbon-cutting in 2003, confessed “being influenced to take up the trumpet watching Louis on TV,” and accepted his “Louie” as its first Jazz Musician.

Of the many benefactors and silent participants notable in the audience at the New York 3 West 51st Club were Phoebe Jacobs, companion to Lucille Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern, jazz journalist-archivist; Stanley Crouch, commentator-critic; Ricky Riccardi, a recent author of “What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years”; Ron Scott, Amsterdam News jazz journalist-columnist; discographer Hans Westerberg; George Wein, Swing-Jazz pianist and Festival Producer.

Official accolades published in the Gala Program included ASCAP, Satchmo Summerfest-New Orleans, California Jazz Foundation, The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band, Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Mayor Bloomberg, NYC Council Speaker Quinn, Congressmen Ackerman, Crowley and WBGO.

Today, Louis Armstrong’s legacy is preserved as the largest jazz archive for visitors 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year at 34-56 107th Avenue, Corona Queens New York.

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Daniel Kassell

Member, Jazz Journalist Association


See Louis Armstrong Portrait at Armstrong's House


Last modified on Saturday, 10 December 2011 10:55
Dan Kassell

Dan Kassell expands his curiosity by attending concerts, conventions, lectures and movies to take note of the History of Jazz from the indigenous Caribes in the Caribbean to Algiers New Orleans, Chicago and New York. As a member of the Jersey Jazz Society since 1972 he's witnessed musicians who learned from jazz's founders. Reviews also appear in, Amazon and and historically in AllAboutJazz-New York, Mississippi Rag or Jersey Jazz since 1972.

First inspired by Thomas "Fats" Waller playing "Your Feet's Too Big," Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert, Louis Armstrong solos, Duke Ellington's Famous Orchestra and Bob Wilber with Marty Gross and Kenny Davern's Soprano Summit he's also became fascinated by the spontaneous improvisation of Free Jazz while working on publicity for Chico Freeman.

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