Satchmo SummerFest is the premier American Jazz Festival dedicated to the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans’ native son, Louis Armstrong. The festival featured three days of fascinating discussions about the life and talent of Louis Armstrong, seminars about the history and influence of jazz music and some of the best musicians around. The event is held annually at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint.
Below are highlights from the 2014 Satchmo SummerFest:
John Boutte sings “La Vie En Rose.” His “Treme Song” from the album entitled “Jambalaya” is the theme song of HBO’s series, “Treme.”
Trumpeter and bandleader Wendall Brunious has jazz in blood. His father, John “Picket” Brunious, Sr. attended Juilliard and arranged for Jazz greats Billy Eckstine and Cab Calloway.
Todd Duke is most recognized for his always savory accompaniment with John Boutte.
Nobu Ozaki obviously having fun with John Boutte. He is also the New Orleans Helsinki Connection’s original bassist.
Alto saxman Loren Pickford toured and wrote horn arrangements for the late soul icon, Jackie Wilson. Pickford also performed with Percy Sledge, the Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis and Clarence Carter. During the 1970s he played with Van Morrison and served as bandleader for the popular CBS sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Don Vappie is a producer, composer and arranger who has performed and recorded with Terence Blanchard, Benny Waters, Doc Cheathum, Peggy Lee and continues to be a regular guest with Wynton Marsalis.
Jesse Boyd, Charmaine Neville, her son Damion Neville and Darryl “Dancing Man 504” Young engage the crowd.
Detroit Brooks has the most recognizable face in the city. He is a virtual chameleon of various musical styles from Traditional Banjo to Improvisational Jazz, Rhythm and Blues and Funk.
Jesse Boyd recorded his first album at the tender age of twelve. His musical style ranges from an accompanying melody, to the conversational counterpart. One thing is dazzlingly apparent – the uniqueness of Jesse’s sound is simply marvelous.
Gerald French has worked around the world with countless musicians including Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Leroy Jones, Dr. Michael White, Lillian Boutte, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and his own band, Abstract. He has recently taken over the leadership of his grandfather’s and uncle’s band, Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. In addition to being a fourth generation New Orleans musician, Gerald is a Mardi Gras Indian with the Wild Magnolias.
As the daughter of one of the highly acclaimed Neville Brothers, Charmaine is heir to a rich New Orleans musical legacy. She has however, put her own stamp on this musical heritage. Charmaine has appeared with such notables as the Rolling Stones, Dr. John, Bobby McFerrin, Steven Stills, Harry Connick, Jr. and Linda Ronstadt.
Amasa Miller has been hailed as “one of the most sought after pianists in the city, and one of the freshest contributors to the New Orleans tradition.” He is a founding member of the Charmaine Neville Band and the Pfister Sisters and has played many to include Aaron Neville, Linda Ronstadt, Steven Stills, Maria Muldaur, Lil’ Queenie and Ingrid Lucia. His musical styles range from Traditional Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Brazilian, Caribbean, Klezmer, to Tango.
For nearly a decade, Jeremy Davenport has been a vital part of the New Orleans music scene. Jeremy Davenport can be found every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at The Davenport Lounge in the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. He is currently at work on a new album to be released winter 2014.
Drummer Troy Davis is no stranger to Jazz. He has performed with Ellis Marsalis Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Paquito D’Rivera, Jesse Boyd Trio and Grammy-award winning Terrence Blanchard. In 1995, the Terence Blanchard Group was chosen by the United States Information Agency to be cultural ambassadors in Latin America. Troy was a member of that five week tour.
Mansfield Ohio Music Hall of Famer Arnett Hayes cut his musical teeth in church. Through time and with a lot of hard work, Arnett toured the world and played with incredibly talented musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Les McCann, Grady Tate, Dr. John, Bradford Marsalis, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Yolonda Adams, Kim Burrell and Ray Chew.
Thibodaux native Terrance Blanchard shares the stage with his friend and band mate, Jeremy Davenport. Throughout the years, Fletcher has had the opportunity to share the stage with such legends as Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.
Satchmo SummerFest is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (www.fqfi.org), the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces French Quarter Festival in April and Christmas New Orleans Style in December.