New Orleans is ready to host premier American jazz festival

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Free and open to the public, the premier American jazz festival dedicated to the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans' native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong will take place August 1-3 at the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint.

neworleans-frenchquarterThe 14th annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron and produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), brings performances from New Orleans' most talented musicians, with a focus on traditional and contemporary jazz and brass bands.

Festival dining at "Red Bean Alley" provides refreshing options from over a dozen local restaurants; choices range from classics like Antoine's Baked Alaska to vegetarian-fare like Ninja Restaurant's Seaweed and Cucumber Salad to Louis' favorite dish, Red Beans and Rice by Praline Connection. Three full days of fascinating Satchmo Seminars about New Orleans music and Louis Armstrong are scheduled inside the air-conditioned Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint.

Satchmo SummerFest 2014 brings a dozen artist debuts: Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays Friday, August 1st from 6:30-7:45pm. Other debuts include: The Smoking Time Jazz Club, Shotgun Jazz Band, Joe Lastie's New Orleans Sounds, Mario Abney and the Abney Effect, Brass-A-Holics, Capital Focus Jazz Band, Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, The Norbert Slama Quartet, Mahogany Brass Band, The Ella & Louie Tribute Band, and The Calvin Johnson Quintet.

Returning festival favorites include: Kermit Ruffins, Kid Merv, Glen David Andrews, John Boutte, Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders, Shannon Powell & his Traditional All-Stars, Connie Jones and Tim Laughlin, New Orleans Moonshiners, Leroy Jones and New Orleans' Finest, PresHall Brass, Charmaine Neville, Wycliffe Gordon, James Andrews, Lars Edegran's Ragtime Orchestra, Treme Brass Band, Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints, Jeremy Davenport, Louis Ford and His New Orleans Flairs, and many more.

Between musical sets, dancers of all levels can enjoy free dance lessons from New Orleans' best dance teachers at the Cornet Chop Suey Stage each day of the festival. Dance lessons are free and open to the public and are taught and sponsored by NOLA Jitterbugs and Dancing Man 504.

Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, children and parents can relax in air-conditioning on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint and enjoy an array of educational, entertaining family activities, movies, and exhibits. Pops' Playhouse for Kids features a variety of activities that teach the next generation about New Orleans traditions. Children make crafts like second line umbrellas and homemade instruments, and Junior Zulus host a Zulu Coconut decorating station. New this year is the Satchmo Book Nook sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library and Learning from Louis, an interactive presentation by author and schoolteacher Mick Carlon.

While inside, visitors can also enjoy the Louisiana State Museum's exhibits, including the wonderful new exhibition highlighting its world-renown Jazz Collection, Keeping Time Extraordinary Images from Louisiana's Musical Past. A selection of key music related photographs will be on view as well as instruments played by such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, and Sidney Bechet. On July 30th, the Friends of the Cabildo and Louisiana Museum Foundation will host an opening reception (free and open to the public) in in the Mint's 3rd floor performance hall. Many representatives of Louisiana's musical families will be in attendance.   Entertainment will be provided by Joe Krown Trio with Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr.

The exhibits and children's area are free and open to the public during Festival weekend.

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