Satchmo SummerFest 2015 Friday Picks

This year, the organizers of the annual festival celebrating the life and music of Louis Armstrong are trying something new. For the first time, there will be a $5 cover charge for admission to the festival at the Old U.S. Mint. It will be interesting to see if there are more people set up outside the gates, less people inside, or if the new policy is a non-starter. Here are our picks for Friday, July 31, 2015. The full schedule is here.

Deacon John will be making his first appearance at the festival. As discussed in a previous post, the septuagenarian musician is performing a lot more around town lately including a great show celebrating his birthday at Tipitina’s and a performance at the French Quarter Festival in April.

This year, his set partially overlaps with that of trumpeter James Andrews. Since his cousin, Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill passed away earlier this year from a shocking infection, Andrews has also been playing a lot more in clubs around town.

The self-proclaimed “Satchmo of the Ghetto” has mostly stuck to lucrative corporate and convention gigs in recent years, but the death of Hill seems to have motivated him to bring his music back to the people.

Saxophonist Donald Harrison’s Allstar Louis Armstrong Tribute intrigues me. Harrison is known as an educator as well as one of our more prolific modern jazz players. He is not known as a traditional player, though he is certainly more than capable of playing any style. This should be an interesting set.

Another modern player not known for his forays into trad jazz is Ellis Marsalis. The octogenarian pianist is making his Satchmo SummerFest debut. See you there!

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