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New Orleans will celebrate native son Satchmo with--what else?--lots of music

The streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter will be filled with the sounds of brass bands and soulful singers as New Orleans honors native son Louis Armstrong in July and August.

Satchmo Summerfest will celebrate its 15th anniversary July 31-Aug. 2 with more than 40 musical performances.

One of the most famous musicians of the 20th century, Louis Armstrong began as a cornet player before switching to the trumpet. He later gained acclaim as an influential jazz singer.

Armstrong, who from childhood had been called “Satchelmouth” because of his large mouth, was given the nickname “Satchmo” in 1932. That’s when the editor of a British music magazine greeted the musician using “Satchmo,” which stuck.

New Orleans—a parade-loving city if ever there was one--will launch the festival with a procession beginning at 10:30 a.m. July 31. It will be led by the Storyville Stompers Brass Band. 

One of the day’s highlights will be the festival debut of Deacon John Moore. Early in his career, in the late 1950s, the bandleader, songwriter and vocalist was a member of the house band at New Orleans’ Dew Drop Inn, which helped popularize rhythm and blues.

Longtime jazz artist and vocalist Jewel Brown will perform at 5 p.m. Aug. 1. She will be part of a tribute to both Armstrong and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

Besides the music, vendors will be selling some of the food dishes for which New Orleans is famous: beignets, red beans and rice with mustard greens and, of course, po’ boy sandwiches.

Info: Satchmo Summerfest will be on the grounds of the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint at 400 Esplanade Ave. Admission is $5 per day. Children 12 and under are free.

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