Weekend Shots: Satchmo Summerfest Edition!

For over a decade, the fine folks at the French Quarter Festival have brought us music and seminars on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint to honor the history and legacy of the most famous New Orleanian of them all, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. TVD is proud to be a media sponsor of the event for the second year in a row.

There are two stages along with panel discussions going on all day on Saturday and Sunday. For details on the panels click here. I am going to concentrate on the live music.

First a note—fans of Satchmo Summerfest may be wondering why the Satchmo Club Strut is not on the calendar this year. They are taking a break for 2012 and promise to come back strong next year.

Pianist Jesse McBride (interviewed above) has been carrying on the important work of his teachers and mentors Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste with the Next Generation. This group of young musicians kicks things off on Saturday at noon on the Red Beans and Ricely Yours stage. This is a chance to hear what the future of New Orleans jazz will sound like.

Jazz has gone from its birthplace in New Orleans all around the world. At 1:15 PM on the Cornet Chop Suey stage you have a chance to hear the accordionist Norbert Slama. He hails from France, but has made his home in New Orleans on and off for years. He performs with the group, Harmonouche that also features the French guitarist Raphael Bas.

The act I am most excited to see for the first time is the Tremé Funktet featuring Corey Henry and Travis Hill (pictured). They close out the day. Henry needs no introduction to TVD readers. He plays with everyone. Hill is a trumpeter that hails from the same legendary New Orleans musical family that produced his grandfather Jessie Hill and numerous other musical luminaries.

I would like to make a public apology to Travis and set the record straight. In my new book I refer to him as being a “childhood friend” of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. They are, in fact, cousins—my bad.

Begin your day on Sunday in fine fashion with a second line parade from St. Augustine Church in the Tremé to the festival site at the foot of Esplanade Avenue. It begins after the jazz mass around 11:30 AM. Who said there are no second lines in the summer?

Kid Merv has a new album that one of my colleagues refers to as an “out-and-out Armstrong tribute without ever identifying itself as such.” Mervin Campbell has been one of my favorites since his days with the Soul Rebels Brass Band. This should be a great set. He plays at 1:15 PM on the Cornet Chop Suey stage.

The rest of the day is crawling with great trumpeters including Leroy Jones, who released his own tribute to Pops some years back, Wendell Brunious, Jeremy Davenport and Kermit Ruffins. The day ends, as is tradition, with all the trumpeters on stage paying homage to the great one. See you there!

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