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Louis Armstrong

Louis+Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans Louis Armstrong was an amazing trumpet player and one of the most influential jazz artists in the history of jazz. He also was a bandleader, singer, solosist, film star and comedian. As a child Louis sang in a boys’ quartet and worked at odd jobs. In 1912 he was sent to a colored home as a juvenile delinquent  because he shot a gun in public at age 8. This is where he learned to play cornet and this is where he learned that playing music is his passion. He learned music by listening to the jazz artists of his day which included King Oliver. Louis played in marching bands, Jazz bands, and he got so talented that he could replace King Oliver in the Kid Ory band. In the 1920s he was playing in riverboat dance bands but in 1922 Oliver invited Armstrong to play second cornet in Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band which included musicians like brothers Johnny and Baby Dodds and pianist Lil Hardin which Armstrong eventually married. He eventually left the band and recorded his first solos “Chimes Blues” and “Tears” which Louis and Lil made. He then decided to start a solo career where he set the stage for the Swing era. 

People called him a satchel mouth because of his giant mouth, his cheeks could get so  big and hold so much air partly because he played the trumpet so much. When an executive met him he accidentally called him Sacthmo and Armstrong liked it so much that it is stuck as his nickname. His distinctive gravelly-voice was amazing and helped him to demonstrate that it’s possible to have amazing technique and strong feeling for the blues. In the early 30s he was very popular and his popularity only continued to grow. He eventually played for presidents, European royalty, and the kings and queens of Africa. Although he had many accomplishments He counted his greatest accomplishment as being selected for the Zulu King of Mardi Gras 1946. Louis Armstrong will always be remembered as an outstanding Jazz Artist that had a huge impact on Jazz history.

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