Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong Centennial Conference

A Celebration of the Artistry and Legacy
of Louis Armstrong

August 2 - 4, 2001
The Old U.S. Mint
French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana

Conference Schedule & Events
(Download Conference Schedule in MS Word format)

Thursday, August 2, 2001
6 - 7:30 pm Opening Reception
Admission with conference registration. Note: on-site registration will be available.

Location: Palm Court Jazz Cafe, 1204 Decatur Street (2 blocks from the Mint). After the reception, the Palm Court will remain open for dinner at 8:00 pm. For dinner reservations, call (504) 525-0200.

8:00 pm Airport Renaming Ceremony
Ceremony renaming the New Orleans International Airport as the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Reception and musical tribute to follow.

Location: New Orleans International Airport, 900 Airline Drive, Kenner, LA

Friday, August 3, 2001 - Conference
  Location: U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue (map)
Also at the Mint: Louisiana State Museum Jazz Exhibit; Armstrong Exhibit
8:00 am Registration, coffee & pastries
9:00 am Welcome

Dr. Connie Atkinson, Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies, University of New Orleans Michael Cogswell, Director, Louis Armstrong House and Archives, Queens College, New York.

9:15 am Session: Louis Armstrong: American Icon

Dr. John Edward Hasse, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. An overview of the extraordinary life and legacy of Louis Armstrong, providing the outlines of his life and career, pointing out his musical and professional highlights, and assessing his place in American history. The talk will be richly illustrated with slides, recording excerpts, and video clips.

10:00 am Session: Armstrong in New Orleans

Part I: Tad Jones - The historian who who discovered Armstrong's baptismal certificate discusses Armstrong's real birthday and his birthplace on Jane Alley.

10:45 am Part II: Dr. Joshua Berrett, professor of music, Mercy College, NY. It was around 1917 or 1918 that Armstrong bought his first wind-up Victrola, something he has described as a "big event." Elaborating on this in a Richard Meryman interview, Armstrong said: "Most of my records were the Original Dixieland Jazz Band -- Larry Shields and his bunch. They were the first to record the music I played. I had Caruso records too, and Henry Burr, Galli-Curci, Tetrazzini -- they were all my favorites. Then there was the Irish tenor, McCormack --beautiful phrasing." This presentation will explore the rich implications of these remarks for properly understanding the cultural context within which Armstrong's musical taste was shaped, how the use of operatically derived material helps define his process of improvisation, and what these insights tell us about Armstrong's self-image and notions of jazz itself.
11:30 am Part III: "Ignoring Genius: The New Orleans Establishment and Louis Armstrong" - Dr. Charlie Suhor, author of "Jazz in New Orleans: The Postwar Years Until 1970". From the beginning of the century through the late 1960s, most civic, cultural, business and educational leaders in New Orleans were radically slow in moving from utter condemnation to wary toleration to full-fledged celebration of jazz and its practitioners. Dr. Suhor will focus on the treatment of Armstrong during four key visits to the city, and also on the ambivalence, at best, reflected in attempts to respect Armstrong artifacts and memorialize his legacy.
12:30 pm Appreciation Lunch - "Red Beans and Ricely Yours"

Location: Palm Court Jazz Café, 1204 Decatur Street (2 blocks from the Mint) - Reservations required - $25 (see registration form). Three course luncheon includes soft drinks and coffee.
Music: Original Louis Armstrong recordings (Dan Meyer)

2:00 pm Session: Armstrong in Chicago 1922-29

Dr. Richard Wang, University of Chicago. What was the impact of the New Orleans players on the music of Chicago, particularly the role of New Orleanians in changing the musicians' unions there? Dr. Wang avers that far from coming to Chicago to escape a segregationist musical community, New Orleanians found a much harder color line in the northern city than they had experienced in New Orleans.

3:00 pm Session: Armstrong in New York

Part 1: Dan Morgenstern, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University. Armstrong scholar Dan Mrogenstern will talk about the significance of New York to Armstrong in terms of his first (1924-25) stay, his "second coming" (1929), and the role New York played in his still not quite satisfactorily researched managerial and gangster-related problems and their resolution - this is a prelude to his eventually becoming a New Yorker.

4:00 pm Part II: Michael Cogswell, Director, Louis Armstrong House and Archives, Queens College. The Armstrong Archives is home to Armstrong's personal effects, which include his music, mountains of photographs, and thousands of hours of taped conversations of Armstrong with musicians, friends and family. Michael Cogswell will share some of the most personal and revealing material with the conference.
5:00 pm Session: Jazz and the Sound of Freedom: Louis Armstrong Blows Up the World

The Exportation of Jazz to Europe and beyond has been called 'One of the decisive cultural factors of the 20th Century' (Dr. Wagnleitner) A panel of music scholars will discuss this assertion and Armstrong's influence.

Dr. Reinhold Wagnleitner, University of Salzburg, Austria

Dr. Frederick Starr (Johns Hopkins Univ) Jazz in the Soviet Union; Dr. Penny von Eschen, (Univ of Michigan) jazz and Africa; Mike Zwerin, (International Herald Tribune, Paris) Jazz under the Nazis; David Horn, Director of the Institute of Popular Music, Liverpool; Berndt Ostendorf (Director of the Amerika Institute, University of Munich).

8:00 pm "The Armstrong Alumni Allstars" Concert - Arvell Shaw, Joe Muranyiand Franz Jackson:

An evening of music, featuring stars and legends from the Satchmo era. Location: Palm Court Jazz Café, 1204 Decatur St, French Quarter.

Free to registrants and includes free pass to Friday evening's 'Satchmo Club Strut,' a club crawl to jazz clubs in Frenchmen/Decatur street area, including Snug Harbor, El Matador, Café Brasil, the Tin Roof Café and other premier clubs for performances honoring the Louis Armstrong legacy by noted groups such as Astral Project, the Original Dixieland Jass Band, David Dunbar and the Southern Peach Sweet Tarts with Ellen Rogers, and Irakli and the Louis Ambassadors from France. A fundraiser for the Jazz Centennial Celebration's educational outreach programs. (non-registrants $20, tickets available at Palm Court and Snug Harbor on the evening of the event)

Saturday, August 4, 2001 - Conference
Location: U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue (map)
9:00 am Registration, coffee and pastries
(onsite registration is $25 for morning session)
9:30 am Session: Louis Armstrong the Bluesman

Dr. Michael White, Xavier University, New Orleans.
With all the new exciting work on the many styles of music that were drawn upon to create Armstrong's work, Dr. White reminds us of that important ingredient, the blues.

10:30 am Session: Armstrong Biographers

A lively discussion of Armstrong by those who have delved most deeply into Armstrong research.

Michael Cogswell, Director, Louis Armstrong House and Archives, Queens College

John Chilton, Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story,
Dr. Thomas Brothers, Duke, Armstrong in His Own Words,
Laurence Bergreen, Louis Armstrong,
Dr. Joshua Berrett, The Louis Armstrong Companion: Eight Decades of Commentary,
Dempsey Travis, Louis Armstrong Odyssey: From Jane Alley to America's Jazz Ambassador.

12:30 pm Lunch: on your own - food booths available at Satchmo SummerFest on U.S. Mint grounds
12:00 pm -
7:00 pm
Satchmo SummerFest
A celebration of food, music and fun in honor of Pops. Sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana State Museum, Abita Beer, Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits, Kentwood Springs, the Louisiana Lottery, OffBeat Magazine and LifeCare Hospitals. Location: In and around the Mint - In honor of Pops - a festival of music, food and fun.

Afternoon conference sessions open to the public (inside the U.S. Mint)

12:00 pm Children's Informance (SummerFest Event)

"Props for Pops" with Charmaine Neville. A musical program focusing on New Orleans International Ambassador of Jazz. Presented by the Jazz Centennial Celebration.

1:00 pm Jazz on the Mississippi (SummerFest Event)

Of the six remaining steamboats still operating on the Mississippi or its tributaries, Captain Clarke 'Doc" Hawley has commanded or piloted five. In almost half a century of excursion boating, he has witnessed performances of Danny Barker, Alvin Alcorn, Vic Tooker and Professor Longhair. This active river historian, pilot and calliope player will be joined by Connie Jones, an accomplished cornet player for nearly 50 years who has traveled the world and the river, for a lively discussion of the changing Mississippi and its music.

2:00 pm Session: Memories of Louis Armstrong

Phoebe Jacobs interviewed by Dan Morgenstern
The Armstrong Legacy: an interview with Armstrong Foundation Vice President Phoebe Jacobs who has been the keeper of the Armstrong flame for over 30 years. A close friend of the Armstrong family, Ms Jacobs will share insights into Armstrong's growing legacy since his passing, including the growth and development of the Armstrong Foundation.

3:00 pm Session: Memories of Louis Armstrong

Arvell Shaw, Joe Muranyi and Franz Jackson
A real treat for Armstrong fans - interviews with stars and legends from the Satchmo era. Interviewed by Michael Cogswell, Armstrong Archives.

4:00 pm Session: Memories of Louis Armstrong

Selma Heraldo interviewed by Peggy Schein (curator, Armstrong House and Archives) - Louis Armstrong's next door neighbor knew the Armstrong family in an intimate way, but chose to keep her knowledge private. Recently, however, she has decided to share the memories of her years of living next door to Satchmo. Her travels with the Armstrongs as Lucille Armstrong's companion included the famous trip to New Orleans to see Armstrong crowned King Zulu!

5:00 pm Session: Two Jazz Guys and a Thousand Jazz Stories

Famed jazz photographer Herman Leonard and French publisher Frank Ténot (Paris Match, Elle, Jazz) reminisce about the great jazz days in Paris and New York, sharing intimate never-before-told tales of Billie, Charlie, Louis and more.

5:45 pm The New Orleans Cornet and Trumpet Tradition from 1840 to Present

Dr. Jack Stewart, local New Orleans jazz historian and musician, will circulate a list that he's compiled of almost every major New Orleans cornet and trumpet player of the 19th, 20th and 21st century, with their influences and styles. A major work.

6:00 pm Walking Tour of Louis Armstrong's New Orleans

Tad Jones, jazz historian, leads an informative tour of Armstrong's neighborhood. Starts at the corner of Poydras and South Rampart Streets.

8:00 pm "From Satchmo to Marsalis: A Tribute to the Fathers of Jazz"

Ellis, Branford, Wynton, Jason and Delfaeyo Marsalis join Harry Connick, Jr. in concert.

Location: University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena, 8:00 pm, Ticketmaster, $35 and up.

Sunday, August 5, 2001 - Satchmo SummerFest
Location: U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue (map)
10:00 am -
7:00 pm
Satchmo SummerFest A celebration of Louis Armstrong's Centennial sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Tourism in conjunction with the Louisiana State Museum. Location: In and around the U.S. Mint in honor of Pops - a festival of music, food and fun - Sponsored by the State of Louisiana.
3:00 pm "Louis Armstrong on Film" - Jack Bradley

Jack Bradley shares, from his massive collection of Armstrong memorabilia, some rare footage of Pops in a free screening for Armstrong fans. Not to be missed!

Location: Visitors Center, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, behind the shops at the French Market, Decatur Street.

To register, contact University of New Orleans Conference Services:

This program is funded under a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The opinions expressed in this program do not necessarily represent the views of either the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

Conference Schedule | Registration | Participant Bios | Conference Web Site

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Louis Armstrong Centennial