Satchmo’s Wonderful World


To celebrate, we’re highlighting a man known affectionately as Satchmo. Even if you have never listened to jazz (which is a total loss, in my opinion), you’ve probably heard of Louis Armstrong. Although he had a huge impact on jazz, his influence on popular music is also extensive. Many people remember him most for his gravelly voice (especially on songs like  “What a Wonderful World”), but he was also a revolutionary trumpet player.

Born in 1901 in New Orleans, he seemed to grow up with this new American jazz. He was one of the first to really insert his own personality into the music he was playing. Whether he was improvising full solos, making his trumpet “sing”, or popularizing scat, he was constantly innovating.  He once said, ““My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn…”

Learn more about Satchmo here:


Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life – Laurence Bergreen

Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words: Selected Writings – Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans – Thomas David Brothers

The Oxford Companion to Jazz

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong – Terry Teachout

Satchmo: The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong – Steven Brower

CD: Ella and Louis

CD: The Great American Songbook: Louis Armstrong

CD: The Hot Fives and Sevens

CD: Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

CD: Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy

CD: What a Wonderful World

DVD: Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns



Louis Armstrong Discography

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Kennedy Center: ArtsEdge – Louis Armstrong

PBS: Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns – Louis Armstrong

Smithsonian: Jazz Appreciation Month

Wikipedia: Louis Armstrong

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