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Satchmo SummerFest

 

Satchmo Summerfest

There are a lot of legends in New Orleans, but arguably few are as legendary as Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.

Born in New Orleans on August 4, 1901, he grew up in “Back o’ Town,” a rough and tough area around South Rampart Street, where skyscrapers and the Superdome now stand. Fame found him in the 1920’s and by the time he passed away 1971 he was known around the world.

Armstrong played the trumpet, cornet and had an unmistakable gravely-raspy, singing voice. He was influential in jazz, moving the focus from collective improvisation to solo performance.

Originally planned to be a one-time tribute to Louis Armstrong on his 100th birthday in 2001, the Satchmo SummerFest was such a big hit that New Orleans decided to make it into an annual event.

The festival takes place at the Old U.S. Mint, located on the edge of the French Quarter between the French Market and Esplanade Avenue.  Like the festival’s namesake, the main focus of Satchmo Fest is music. Many of New Orleans’ top musicians perform on several stages outdoors, often paying tribute to Armstrong and his music. 

Festival goers can also sign up for seminars and lectures by knowledgeable music authorities, or attend smaller concerts inside the Old mint.

For an added culinary bonus, New Orleans’ restaurants set up shop around the festival for easy access to some of the city’s best food.