Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong
August 4, 1901
July 6, 1971
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is considered historically as having had the most influence on jazz music.
He experienced poverty when young and at 12 years old was sent to reform school.
In this secluded environment, Louis Armstrong learned to read music and play the cornet.
After being released at age 14, he worked at a number of jobs including selling papers and coal.
Sometimes he and a group of friends would solicit funds by singing on the streets.
Armstrong listened and learned to appreciate the types of music being played in neighborhood clubs and bars.
At eighteen, he ventured out on his own playing the cornet in pick up bands for clubs, funerals, and parades.
Fortunately, Louis Armstrong came under the influence of a popular professional musician, Joe "King" Oliver, who played in the "Kid Ory's Band.".
Oliver introduced Armstrong to the trumpet and taught him the techniques of playing the instrument.
In 1917, when Oliver left his band to go to Chicago, Armstrong took Oliver's place in the Ory band.
In the next few years, Armstrong toured with the band playing clubs and river boats and improving his musical skills.
He accepted an invitation from Oliver in 1922 to go to Chicago and join the Creole Jazz Band.
Two years later, Armstrong broadened his experience by moving to New York to play with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra.
Louis Armstrong was gaining a reputation as a competent trumpet player and before long he formed his own Chicago-based band called the "Hot Five."
He made his first recordings with this band which later expanded to be the "Hot Seven."
was an abbreviation of "satchelmouth," a comical depiction of his mouth.
Over the next decade, Armstrong keenly promoted jazz music by playing on Broadway and on visitations to England and France.
Joe Glaser became Louis Armstrong's manager in 1935 and is credited with helping Armstrong become a true superstar in the world of music.
Not only was Armstrong a virtuoso on the trumpet, his razzy singing voice helped him create hit popular vocal records.
Movie films, television shows, world tours, and concerts made Armstrong one of the most famous and beloved American musicians.
Louis Armstrong was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and, in 2001, the New Orleans airport was renamed
Louis Armstrong International Airport
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Last Updated: December 15, 2017
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