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


Louis Armstrong Centennial Conference – Biographies of Participants


Connie Atkinson, University of New Orleans

Dr. Atkinson is associate director of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans, where she teaches courses on the history of New Orleans music. Dr. Atkinson received her degree at the Institute of Popular Music at Liverpool, England. A journalist in New Orleans since 1973, with the Vieux Carré Courier, New Orleans Magazine, and Figaro, she was founder and publisher of Wavelength, New Orleans music magazine. She is one of the founding directors of the annual New Orleans International Music Colloquium.


Lawrence Bergreen, author and historian, New York

Laurence Bergreen is a prize-winning biographer and journalist. In 1997, Bantam Doubleday Dell published Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, a comprehensive biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, and exclusive interviews with Armstrong colleagues and friends. It appeared on many "Best Books of 1997" lists, including those of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly. It has also been published in Germany, Finland, and Great Britain. His most recent book is Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth, a narrative of NASA's exploration of Mars and the search for extraterrestrial life, published in November 2000 by Penguin Putnam. An excerpt appeared in Details magazine, and it is available on tape from HighBridge Audio. In 1994, Simon & Schuster published his Capone: The Man and the Era. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, it has been translated into numerous foreign languages and was optioned by Miramax.

His groundbreaking biography, As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990. This book won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award and received front-page reviews in major American and British newspapers and appeared on bestseller lists. His previous biography, James Agee: A Life, was also critically acclaimed. His first book was Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting. He has written for many national publications including Esquire, Newsweek, TV Guide, Prologue, and Military History Quarterly. He lectures at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. and serves as a Featured Historian for the History Channel.


Joshua Berrett, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York

A specialist in nineteenth and twentieth-century music, Dr. Berrett has published on a wide array of topics, including two volumes on the symphony and articles on jazz and contemporary music in such journals as the Journal of Jazz Studies, The Musical Quarterly, and American Music. His latest books, both on jazz, appeared in 1999: The Louis Armstrong Companion: Eight Decades of Commentary (Schirmer Books/Simon & Schuster Macmillan; and The Musical World of J.J. Johnson (co-authored with Louis G. Bourgois and published by Scarecrow Press and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University). Most recently he has written the commentary for the Verve Deluxe reissue of Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography. He is currently under contract with Yale University Press to write a book on Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman.


Jack Bradley, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Mr. Bradley is the foremost private collector of Armstrong material, a famous jazz photographer, and one of the most noted private collectors of jazz photographs and films.


Tom Brothers, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Dr. Brothers, author of Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words, and several articles on jazz and African-American music, is Associate Professor of Music at Duke University, where he teaches African-American music and medieval music. He holds a PhD degree in music from the University of California at Berkeley. He also researches late-medieval music; his publications include Chromatic Beauty in the Late-Medieval Chanson (Cambridge University Press 1997). His awards include a fellowship for study of race and music at the John Hope Franklin Institute (2001) and a fellowship for the study of 15th-century music at Villa I Tatti in Florence Italy (1999-2000).


John Chilton, London, England

John Chilton is a professional trumpeter and internationally renowned jazz writer. With Max Jones, Chilton authored Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story. With Jones, he also authored a series of hour-long radio programs entitled "Satchmo - The Story of Louis Armstrong." Mr. Chilton is the author of Sidney Bechet: the Wizard of Jazz (1987), considered by many critics to be the best biography ever written of the New Orleans jazz legend. He also authored Billie's Blues and Who's Who of Jazz.


Michael Cogswell, Armstrong House and Archives, Queens College, New York

Michael Cogswell is the director of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, administering the 5-yr project to open the Armstrong House, a national historic landmark and a NYC landmark, as a historic house museum. Cogswell planned and implemented the project to arrange, catalog and preserve Armstrong's vast personal collection of home recordings, photographs, scrapbooks, autobiographical writings, awards, scores, personal papers, trumpets, and other material. Cogswell is also a professional saxophonist who performed and/or recorded with Big Joe Turner, Emily Remler, Sam the Sham, John Coates, etc. His publications include 'The Armstrong Collection' Humanities July/August 2000, 'Louis Armstrong" in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed, 'Duke Ellington" in St. James Guide to Biography. He has been curator of many exhibits: 'Ambassador Satch: Louis Armstrong's Role as Musical Ambassador of Goodwill', 'Armstrong and Africa: Exploring Armstrong's Relationship with Africa' and consulted on myriad projects for television, radio and print media.


Dr. John Edward Hasse, Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC

John Edward Hasse is a music historian, pianist, and award-winning author and record producer. He serves as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, where he was founding Executive Director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, an acclaimed big band. He is also the founder of Jazz Appreciation Month, an annual celebration which will launch nationally in April, 2002.

Hasse is the author of Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, and editor of Ragtime: Its History, Composers, and Music and Jazz: The First Century, an illustrated history of jazz, with Forewords by Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones. Library Journal called the latter book "a major contribution to the understanding of jazz." As producer-author of the book-and-three- disc set The Classic Hoagy Carmichael, Hasse was nominated for two Grammy awards. He has also received two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in writing on music.

Hasse led the Smithsonian's efforts to acquire the 200,000-page Duke Ellington archive, and curated the traveling exhibition Beyond Category: The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington, which traveled to 60 cities. He also led the Smithsonian's initiative to acquire the archives of Ella Fitzgerald and co-curated the exhibition Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song. He serves on the federal New Orleans Jazz Commission, and is a contributor to seven encyclopedias. Hasse earned a B.A. Cum Laude at Carleton College, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University. In 2001 Walsh University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.


Selma Heraldo, New York

Ms. Heraldo, Louis Armstrong's next door neighbor, knew the Armstrong family in an intimate way, but for years after Armstrong's death chose to keep her knowledge private. Recently she has decided to share the glorious memories of her years of living next door to Satchmo. Don't miss her stories of her travels with the Armstrongs as Lucille Armstrong's companion - travels that included the famous trip to New Orleans to see Armstrong crowned King Zulu!


David Horn, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England

David Horn is Director of the Institute of Popular Music at the University of Liverpool. He was a founding editor of the journal 'Popular Music' (Cambridge University Press) and a founder member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. He is joint managing editor of an international project to compile a multi-volume reference work, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and is joint editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Jazz, for which he has written an essay on jazz in the twentieth century. He has also recently completed an article on Art Tatum for Black Music Research Journal.


Joyce Marie Jackson, Dept of Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Dr. Jackson is an ethnomusicologist-folklorist whose research areas involve African American sacred music, performance-centered studies on rituals in Africa and the African diaspora, and the rural roots of jazz. Her forthcoming book is: From These Roots: The Expression of Cultural Values and Aesthetics In The Performance of Gospel Quartet Music.


Phoebe Jacobs, Louis Armstrong Foundation, New York

Sy Kravitz has written 'The life and career of Phoebe Jacobs reads like a who's who of the country's greatest jazz musicians and singers with whom she has worked.' Executive vice president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, she has made invaluable contributions to Armstrong's living legacy, playing an important role in the establishment of the Armstrong Archives at Queens College in New York in 1993. In 1995, her long campaign for the release of a Louis Armstrong postal stamp came to fruition. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Lincoln Center's The Ellington Centennial and Research Associate in the jazz program at the Museum of American History.


Tad Jones, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tad Jones is co-author of Up from the Cradle of Jazz: Music in New Orleans Since World War II (1986), and he is concluding work on a new biography of Louis Armstrong. Jones garnered national attention for his discovery of the actual birthday of Louis Armstrong after a careful search of local baptismal records. Prior to Jones's discovery, historians accepted Armstrong's word that he was born on July 4, 1900. Writing about Armstrong's birthday in Satchmo, author Gary Giddins noted that, "writer Tad Jones, an authority on New Orleans music..., in true Lew Archer fashion, sussed out census reports and followed leads that led to the baptismal registry of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and certification of Louis Armstrong's true birth date (August 4, 1901)." Jones also conducted some of the earliest interviews with Professor Longhair, documenting the famous New Orleans musician in a Living Blues interview (March-April 1976, no. 26).


Herman Leonard, photographer, New Orleans, Louisiana

In the late 1940's, Herman Leonard's passion for jazz brought him to the swinging clubs of Broadway, 52nd Street and Harlem. With the camera as his free ticket, he photographed and developed friendships with some of the greats of jazz history including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington.

A year's apprenticeship with Yousuf Karsh provided invaluable experience photographing the likes of Albert Einstein, Harry S. Truman and Clark Gable. In 1956, Leonard was chosen to be Marlon Brando's personal photographer for an extensive research trip to the Far East. In the late 1950's, Leonard headed for Paris where he worked in fashion and advertising and served as the European photographer for Playboy Magazine.

Finally, in the 1980's, Leonard left the glitz of Paris behind and moved to the island paradise of Ibiza to raise his family. It was there, in a cardboard box stashed under his bed, that Leonard discovered his long forgotten accumulation of jazz negatives, negatives that were destined to yield one of the world's photographic treasures.

In 1988, his first-ever jazz exhibition in London was a huge success. Since then, over 100 exhibitions have been held around the world. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has honored him by housing his entire collection in the permanent archives of musical history. President Clinton presented a portfolio of Leonard's prints as an official gift from the United States government to a fellow musician, the King of Thailand.


Louis Armstrong Alumni All-Stars - Arvell Shaw, Joe Muranyi, Franz Jackson

From 1947 until the end of his life, Louis Armstrong worked with a small band unit that he called the All Stars. The creation of that band resulted in the renaissance of his career, and made it possible for his music to be heard by millions of people worldwide. In 1964, for example, their song "Hello, Dolly" unseated the Beatles at the top of the charts. The All Stars were a return to Armstrong's musical roots. From Carnegie Hall to Africa and everywhere in between, they traveled the world together. These people knew Louis Armstrong as few other living Americans did. The conference workshops featuring the All Stars offer an opportunity for New Orleanians to interact and learn from people who had a direct musical and personal connection to the city's most beloved musician.


Dan Morgenstern, Rutgers University, NY

Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University since 1976, Dan Morgenstern is a jazz historian, author, archivist and editor professionally active in the jazz field since 1958. He served as Senior Advisor to Ken Burns' Jazz. The Institute of Jazz Studies is the largest archival collection of jazz and jazz-related materials anywhere. Mr. Morgenstern co-edits the Annual Review of Jazz Studies and the monograph series Studies in Jazz (37 titles as of 2000), published jointly by IJS and Scarecrow Press. Author of Jazz People (1976), Morgenstern still writes frequently for various publications. He was chief editor of down beat from 1967 to 1973 and served as its New York editor from 1964, prior to which he edited Metronome and Jazz. He has been a jazz critic for the New York Post, record reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times, and New York correspondent and columnist for Britain's Jazz Journal and Japan's Swing Journal. He co-authored The Great Jazz Day (1999) and has contributed to such reference works as the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz and Dictionary of American Music, the African-American Almanac, and the Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year, and is represented in the anthologies Reading Jazz, Setting the Tempo, The Louis Armstrong Companion, Louis Armstrong: A Cultural Legacy, The Duke Ellington Reader, The Miles Davis Companion, The Lester Young Reader, and Jazz: A History of America's Music.

Mr. Morgenstern has taught jazz history at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University at Brooklyn College (where he also was a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Studies in American Music), at New York University, and at the Schweitzer Institute of Music directed by Gunther Schuller in Idaho.

A prolific annotator of record albums, Morgenstern has won six Grammy Awards for Best Album Notes (1973, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1995). He received ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for Jazz People. Also active in concert production (Jazz in the Garden, the celebrated 1961-66 summer series at New York's Museum of Modern Art); Jazz on Broadway, etc; broadcasting (co-producer of the 1971 PBS television series Just Jazz: producer-host of The Scope of Jazz, Pacifica Network, 1962-67, and co-producer and co-host of Jazz from the Archives, a weekly feature on WBGO since 1979) and record reissue production (the 100-LP series The Greatest Jazz Recordings of All Time for the Franklin Mint Record Society, with Ed Berger), Hot Jazz on Blue Note, The Best of Django Reinhardt, Morgenstern is particularly proud of his work on Louis Armstrong: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Mr. Morgenstern has served as panel co-chair, panelist and consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts' jazz program; is a former vice president and national trustee of the Recording Academy (NARAS), was a co-founder of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, served on the boards of the New York Jazz Museum and the American Jazz Orchestra, and is a director of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Mary Lou Williams Foundation, and CRI Records.


Dr. Berndt Ostendorf Amerika Institut, Schellingstr. 3 D 80799 Munich, Germany

Dr. Berndt Ostendorf, Professor of North American Cultural History at the Amerika Institut, University of Munich, Germany. He has authored or edited Black Literature in White America 1983; Ghettoliteratur 1982. Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika 1992. Die multikulturelle Gesellschaft: Modell Amerika? 1994. Creolization and Creoles: The Concepts and their History. Odense: Oasis, 1997. His current work is on New Orleans culture, on jazz funerals, on circum-atlantic creolization, and on the politics of difference in a comparative perspective. Recent articles of interest: "Urban Creole Slavery and its Cultural Legacy: The Case of New Orleans." in W. Binder, ed. Slavery in the Americas. Würzburg 1993, 389-401. "New Orleans Studies," in Amerikastudien/ American Studies; "The Cultural Exceptionalism of New Orleans' Music," in O. Hansen/ Th. Liesemann. eds. Demo- kratie und Kunst in Amerika, 1996. 'Rhythm, Riots and Revolution: Political Paranoia, Cultural Fundamentalism and African American Music." in: R. Hase/U. Lehmkuhl, eds., Enemy Images in American History New York, 1998. "African American Expressive Culture: The Cognitive Limits of Celebration" Plantation Society in the Americas V 2/3 (Fall 1998). "The Final Banal Idiocy of the Reversed Baseball Cap: Transatlantic Contradictions in the Ameri-canization-of-Europe Paradigm," Amerikastudien/ American Studies "Why is American Popular Culture so Popular?" Amerika studien (forthcoming). Ever since Prof Joe Logsdon introduced him to New Orleans culture in the late 1970s Prof. Ostendorf has taught courses on Louisiana & New Orleans in Munich, Venice and New Orleans.


Dr. Frederick Starr, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Washington, DC

A historian, educator, musicologist and jazz musician, Dr. Starr taught at Princeton and founded the Kennan Institute in Washington before serving as Vice President of Tulane University and, for eleven years, president of Oberlin College. He now chairs the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington and planning a new university for the Aga Kahn. Starr's books on New Orleans include Southern Comfort, an architectural and social history of the Garden District; Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a biography of the New Orleans composer who anticipated ragtime by half a century; and New Orleans Unmasqued, a collection of essays. Since 1980 Starr has headed the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, affiliated with the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane and called by the late Al Rose "The most authentic band on the scene today." The LRJE was the first jazz group to receive the Smithsonian Institution's Doubleday Prize, the first to appear at the Grammy Awards, and has performed and recorded across America, Europe, & Asia. For years Starr has been restoring the historic Lom bard Plantation in New Orleans' Ninth Ward.


Dr. Jack Stewart, jazz historian, New Orleans, Louisiana

Dr. Stewart is a musician, historian, urban researcher, developer, and preservationist whose tireless efforts have saved many New Orleans landmarks from the wrecking ball. Stewart earned a Ph.D. in political science in 1989. A former instructor of political Science at the University of New Orleans, Stewart has written extensively about community development issues, preservation issues, and music. He is a founding member of the New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra, and a regular performer with the Young Reliance Brass Band. Through his research, Stewart has separated fact from fiction on the Mexican band legend, and he has documented the music of Cuba and its connections to New Orleans. The owner of Jelly Roll Morton's boyhood home, he is active in efforts to preserve the formers homes of many New Orleans legendary jazz musicians.


Dr. Charles Suhor, Auburn University, Montgomery (AL) campus

Dr Suhor is author of Jazz In New Orleans: The Postwar Years Through 1970 (Scarecrow Press, 2001). A native Orleanian, he played drums with Tom Brown, Al Hirt, Armand Hug, Bill Huntington, Henry Kmen, Buddy Prima, and others in the 1950s.

In the 1960s he wrote extensively for down beat and New Orleans magazine while teaching English and working as Supervisor of English in New Orleans Public Schools. From 1977-1997 he was Deputy Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English in Urbana, Illinois, where he founded a performance cooperative called the Jazz & Poetry Connection and organized jazz and language presentations with Tony Garcia, Royal Hartigan, C.K .Ladzekpo, John Mahoney, Ellis Marsalis, and the NOCCA jazz ensemble. Now living in Montgomery, Alabama, he teaches jazz history at Auburn/ Montgomery campus and is a freelance writer, speaker, drummer, performance poet, and education consultant.


Frank Ténot, Jazz Magazine, Paris

A distinguished publisher of many magazines in France (Editor of Jazz Magazine since 1958), M. Ténot was director general (1958-97) of Filipacchi press and president (1992-97) of Hachette Filipacchi press (Télé 7 jours, France-Dimanche, Elle, Parents, Vital, Weekend, Ici Paris, Premiere, Video 7, Playstation, Quo, etc.) Books: Dictionnaire du Jazz (1967), Radios Privées, Radios Pirates (1977), Jazz Encyclopoche (en coll., 1977), Jazz (en coll., 1983), Boris Vian - Le Jazz et Saint Germaine (1993), Je Voulais en Savoir Davantage (1998). A dedicated jazz fan and critic, he is currently owner of the excellent jazz radio station TSF (89.9) in Paris, and outspoken columnist ("Frankly Speaking") in Jazz Magazine. Among his many honors, he has received the Officier du Merite Agricole et des Arts et des Lettres.


Dempsey J. Travis, Chicago, Illinois

Mr. Travis is author of Louis Armstrong Odyssey : From Jane Alley to America's Jazz Ambassador (Clark Terry Introduction, February 1997). An entrepreneur and historian, he was named by Ebony Magazine seven times as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans. Mr. Travis is president of Travis Realty Co., listed as one of the 100 largest Black businesses in America by Black Enterprise Magazine.

Mr. Travis is also the author of seven best selling books: An Autobiography of Black Chicago, An Autobiography of Black Jazz, An Autobiography of Black Politics, Real Estate is the Gold in Your Future, Harold: The People’s Mayor, Racism: American Style A Corporate Gift, I Refuse to Learn to Fail, Views from the Back of the Bus During WWII and Beyond, The Duke Ellington Primer, Racism ‘Round ‘n ‘Round It Goes, They Heard A Thousand Thunders, The Life And Times Of Redd Foxx, and The Victory Monument: The Beacon Of Chicago's Bronzeville. He was financial editor for Dollars and Sense Magazine for several years, and was also a contributing writer for Ebony Magazine and Black Scholars. Mr. Travis was coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s first civil rights march in Chicago in 1960, he was the president of the NAACP Chicago from 1959 to 1960.


Dr. Penny von Eschen, Univ of Michigan

Dr. Von Eschen is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Michigan. She is author of Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957. She is currently working on a book titled Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz, Race and Empire During the Cold War.


Dr. Reinhold Wagnleitner, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Dr. Wagnleitner is Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Salzburg, Austria. His book Coca-Colonisation und Kalter Krieg: Die Kulturmission der USA in Österreich nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (Vienna: Verlag für Gesellschaftskritik, 1991), which analyzes the cultural, political, social, and economic implications of the massive influx of American culture in Austria and other European countries in the period of the Cold War, he received the Ludwig-Jedlicka-Gedächtnispreis 1992 "for outstanding scientific work in Austrian history of the 19th and 20th century". The English translation Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria after the Second World was awarded the Stuart L. Bernath Prize as "a landmark in the emerging field of international cultural relations" by the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations in April 1995. With Elaine Tyler May he edited "Here, There and Every-where": The Foreign Politics of American Popular Culture.

For many years he also played bass and sang in Austrian pop, rock, and jazz bands. In 1991 he was the Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor of American History at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In the spring term of 1998 he was Visiting Professor for American Diplomatic History at the Department of History of the University of New Orleans. He was a Fulbright Scholar twice, teaching American foreign relations at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1987, as well as conducting research as a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies affiliated to the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. in 1983.


Prof. Richard A. Wang, University of Illinois, Chicago

In addition to being a trumpet player, Dr. Wang has written articles about Louis Armstrong and lectured at the Terra Museum of American Art for the traveling exhibit from the Queens College Armstrong House and Archives. His special interest is in Armstrong's Chicago years 1922-28 when Armstrong was with Joe 'King' Oliver and later the Hot Five and Hot Seven.


Dr. Michael White, Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Dr. Michael White (clarinet) is a professor of Spanish and Afro-American music at Xavier University and leader of the Liberty Brass Band, Dr. White has served as musical director in several Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts of New Orleans jazz, including Blue Clarinet Stomp and Cornet Kings Before Armstrong. He has toured and recorded with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In addition to touring worldwide with his own groups at major concert halls and festivals, Dr. White has appeared in innumerable television interviews, films, and documentaries. He has performed and/or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, and Marcus Roberts. Dr. White has released many recordings, including the critically acclaimed Crescent City Serenade and New Year's at the Village Vanguard. In 1992 and 1993 he was selected to down beat magazine critics' poll in the clarinet category. In 1994, Dr. White was awarded the Royal Norwegian Musical Medal of Honor by King Garald VI of Norway.


Louis Armstrong Centennial Conference

Louis Armstrong Centennial