The festival celebrating Louis Armstrong, the Crescent City’s most famous son, returns Aug 4-6 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint. The $5 admission helps support local musicians and pays for staging the event, which includes three stages of music, the Satchmo Symposium, kids’ activities, and food from local restaurants. For information about Satchmo SummerFest, visit fqfi.org.
What makes Satchmo SummerFest stand out? Satchmo SummerFest is the only local festival dedicated to Louis Armstrong…It’s not just about listening to great music – it’s also about learning from the most renowned Satchmo scholars in the world. And then there’s the food. Jambalaya, crawfish pie, sweet potato pie, crepes…and, of course, red beans, Armstrong’s favorite dish!
What’s new this year? The move back to the Mint is huge. In addition to shade tents at the outdoor stages, we will also have an indoor stage featuring dance lessons.
What are you most excited about? I can’t wait for (Grammy award-winner) Nicholas Payton’s performance – we know having him in our lineup would make Satchmo proud.
Are there any tips you would pass on to someone attending for the first time? Stay hydrated and have fun. We wish Armstrong could’ve been born in October, but the reality is, we’re celebrating his birthday during the peak of summer. The shade and misting tents, not to mention air conditioning at the Mint, will help you beat the heat. First-timers should also add the Sunday jazz Mass at St. Augustine to their itinerary. It’s a beautiful service that’s followed by a very special second-line to the Mint.
How does Louis Armstrong still influence the festival? His influence is strongly present in the musical and educational lineup, as well as the food. But there’s also something less tangible…the love and energy are palpable.