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Satchmo SummerFest: A New Orleans-Style Celebration of Louis Armstrong

What a wonderful weekend. The festival celebrating Louis Armstrong takes place from August 2-4 this year.

Summer Satchmo Fest
Summer Satchmo Fest takes place August 2-4, 2019. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

New Orleans celebrates the life, legacy and music of its most famous native son, Louis Armstrong, with Satchmo SummerFest, a festival happening August 2-4 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Produced by the same folks who bring you the French Quarter Festival, this annual event is now in its 19th year. Admission to the festival is $6 this year.

satchmo-summerfest
Satchmo Summerfest takes place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum August 2-4, 2019. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The festival takes place during the first full weekend in August, commemorating Armstrong’s birthday on August 4. Read on to get the full scoop on what to expect at this year’s Satchmo SummerFest.

Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans

Kermit Ruffins. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Kermit Ruffins performed a trumpet tribute to Louis Armstrong at the 2017 festival. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Music

You’d expect music to take center stage at any event celebrating the life of world famous trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and it certainly does. Satchmo SummerFest features three stages of live music, with a focus on local brass bands, as well as contemporary and traditional jazz performers.

On Friday, check out Preservation Hall Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk, Charmaine Neville, and more. On Saturday, tune in for Robin Barnes & the Fiyabirds, Shannon Powell, and other top-notch local acts. Sunday finishes out the fest with Jeremy Davenport, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, and a Trumpet Tribute to Louis Armstrong, among others.

Food

It’s a New Orleans festival, so you’d better believe there’s bound to be plenty of great food to choose from, and Satchmo SummerFest is no exception. The event features a wide variety of great New Orleans food, including red beans & rice, shrimp remoulade, crawfish pie, and jambalaya. The fest also includes some unique food options, like deep fried seafood stuffed bell peppers, crawfish mac and cheese in a bread cone, and belly of the beast tacos with garlic ginger slaw.

Music artifacts at the Old U.S. Mint. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Music artifacts inside the Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Lagniappe

Music history buffs and festival attendees looking for an escape from the heat should head to the third floor of the Jazz Museum for a series of special events. From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., participate in discussions with renowned Armstrong Scholars at the Hilton Satchmo Legacy Stage.

Satchmo SummerFest offers a little something for everyone, including children. Head inside the museum for kids crafts and activities from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

The annual Jazz Mass saluting Satchmo is Sunday, August 4 at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church. Immediately following the mass at 11 a.m. is the second line parade, making its way from the church to Armstrong Park to Esplanade Avenue, and ending at the festival.

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