A celebration of the Jazz of New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong, the irrepressible trumpeter who carried Satchmo as one of several widely-used nicknames. Most events are free to the public. There's music of course on several stages.
Where and When:
The Satchmo Summerfest is held on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint at the edge of the French Quarter on Esplande Ave. The festival is always in August, usually the first weekend. In 2011 the festival is August 4-7.
Fun for the Kids:
Louis Armstrong was a small boy when he first held a trumpet, so the kids are included in the festival. There are special events, and a popular one with kids is decorating those "second line" umbrellas, as well as many other crafts. There's alto music and participatory dance and drumming events to help youngsters join the excitement themselves. There is usually something fun for families on the third floor of the Mint.
There are always special events that just get better every year. This year there will be music all weekend on festival stages featuring traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, brass bands and children's programming. A sampling of performers who play the festival include Leroy Jones, Jeremy Davenport, Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band, Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints, The Palmetto Bug Stompers, Shamarr Allen, Rebirth Brass Band, Tim Laughlin, Soul Rebels, Treme Brass Band, Leah Chase, James Andrews, Lars Edegran's New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park programming for kids, and more!
Of Course There's Food:
Louis Armstrong often ended his letters and notes with "Red beans and ricely yours," referring to one of New Orleans famous dishes, the Monday favorite, red beans and rice. In keeping with that theme, Red Bean Alley, has been set up near the stages where vending booths from local restaurants will be serving up portions of red beans and rice, along with jambalaya, crawfish cakes, gumbo and other local dishes. Some restaurants also have related menus.
This Year's Special Event:
Louis Armstrong Birthday Party, Satchmo Art Show, kids' activities and entertainment, Sunday morning Jazz Mass at historic St. Augustine Church in Treme, a traditional second line parade, a Trumpet Tribute to close the festival, the Satchmo Club Strut, and more!
For a complete schedule of events, plus a photo gallery and video clips from last year's festival, check out the event's Web site.