In 2001, Satchmo SummerFest began. In celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday, the people of New Orleans decided to pay tribute to him in the best and most New Orleanian way possible: with music. Since it first began 15 years ago, Satchmo SummerFest has become a mecca for New Orleanians and tourists alike to come together and celebrate the great Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.
The festival is something of beauty. It combines everything great about New Orleans into one get-together. Jazz bands and other musical artists keep your ears content, while food vendors selling New Orleans delicacies keep your stomach full. Not to mention, there are a variety of seminars to keep you interested and out of the heat.
Satchmo SummerFest has been a hub for traditional and contemporary jazz, as well as brass bands and big band jazz, for the last 15 years. For three days, the French Quarter Festival Inc.-sponsored event plays the music of New Orleans and Louis Armstrong loud and proud on stages all around the festival. This year, for the first time, the fest will take place at a new location in Jackson Square.
There’s no question as to why New Orleans dedicates such a huge event to just one musician. Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans on August 4, 1901. He made famous songs such as “When the Saints Go Marching In”, and his renowned, raspy voice and incredible trumpet talent brought him to the top of the music world in no time.
Dozens upon dozens of bands line up to pay their tribute to the great Satchmo, and this year is no exception. The first day of the festival alone consists of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Tornado Brass Band and the Shotgun Jazz Band, among many others. And to finish out the festival, special guest James Andrews will be providing festival goers with a trumpet tribute to Louis Armstrong, as keeping up with the tradition begun during past festivals.
In addition to the wonderful music, Satchmo SummerFest is also an excellent spot to find the best of the best of New Orleans fare. This year, the festival is host to some of the most quintessential New Orleans dishes. Vendors such as Antoine’s, Muriel’s Jackson Square, Henry’s Original Buttermilk Drop, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, and Plum Street Snowballs will all be in attendance, serving festival attendees delicious morsels and tastes of New Orleans.
With only a $5 entry fee, all day wristbands, and free entrance for children 12 and under, there really is no reason not to attend Satchmo SummerFest this year. So go, explore your hidden love of jazz and New Orleans food, have a few drinks, and celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest musicians in New Orleans history.