Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans and died on July 6,1971. His nicknames were Pops and Satchmo. He was the grandson of slaves. A trumpeter, composer, singer, and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing. He was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong developed his cornet playing skills by playing in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency. Armstrong got his first dance hall job at Henry Ponce's, where Black Benny became his protector and guide. He hauled coal by day and played his cornet at night. Armstrong was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972 by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
“The Gospel According to New Orleans” my collection of iconic New Orleans musicians commemorates their role in the evolution of the eccentric culture and music traditions of New Orleans. All depicted in this series are musical and cultural icons who make or live on through their significant contributions to the uniqueness of what composes the spirit of New Orleans. They exemplify the joie de vivre that runs through all aspects of life here in all of its diversity.
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