Every music genre has the “greats.” The few musicians whose work will transcend time and become virtually synonymous with the genre itself. For jazz, one of the greats is Louis Armstrong. At Jazz Kitchen, we’d like to take a moment to recognize Louis, his mad skills on the trumpet and all he did to bring jazz music to the mainstream.
Louis Armstrong’s skills on the trumpet are quite well known, but his skills didn’t stop there. For more than 50 years his iconic gravelly voice brought jazz through its many evolutions. Some of his most memorable songs were ones he wrote himself. His charismatic stage presence opened jazz up across the color divide that existed at the time. He used this social acceptance to make a stand for desegregation and human rights.
Contrary to popular myth, Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, not July 4, 1900. He was the grandson of slaves and born to a poor Louisiana family. At a young age, his parents abandoned him and his sister to the care of other relatives. At eleven, he dropped out of school and joined an all boys choir singing on the streets for money.
After being sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs several times for delinquency, he joined their band and honed his coronet playing skills.
From such humble beginnings, Louis Armstrong, who’d later become known as Satchmo, took his playing and performing skills to the Mississippi River where he played on tour boats up and down the river. His musicianship matured and expanded during this time.
After getting married, Satchmo gave up the riverboat scene and began growing his career in clubs in Chicago and New York. Eventually, he and his fourth wife settled in Queens. He made scat famous and was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.
While we can’t bring you Louis himself, each of our five locations is proud to share the jazz stylings he made famous with you. Our live musicians put their own spin on it, but it all started with Satchmo. Please join us at Jazz Kitchen for great food and great music.