Louis Armstrongs Birthday

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Louis Armstrongs Birthday
The superb Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, and died July 6, 1971, in New York. As most people know, Satchmo or Pops (two nicknames he had) has been one of the best American jazz trumpeters that have ever existed. But he was also a jazz singer too. As a trumpet virtuoso he had a high improvisation capacity, and that was already noticed in his early 1920´s studio recordings with this Hot Five and <em>Hot Seven ensembles.

During his childhood (a difficult one) he showed an early interest in music. A junk dealer for whom he worked as a grade-school student helped him buy a cornet, which he taught himself to play. He continued learning to play the cornet and bugle in a reform school to where he was sent and became the leader of the band. By that time, Armstrong knew that he wanted to be a musician. He met the cornetist Joe King Oliver, who helped him and to whom Louis replaced in 1918 in the Kid Ory band when Oliver moved to Chicago. A year later he was with the Fate Marable band.

He played in several others bands the following years and, thanks to that, he began to stand out and to be known as a great trumpeter (he switched from cornet to trumpet before 1930). By February 1927, Armstrong was known well-enough to create his own group: Louis Armstrong and His Stompers, at the Sunset CafŽ, in Chicago. Just a year later Hotter than that was in the Top Ten. That was in May; in September it was West End Blues, which later became one of the first recordings named in the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1929, once more, he reached the Top Ten hit with AinÕt Misbehaving.

He had a charismatic stage presence and voice, almost as much as for his trumpet playing. His influence extends beyond jazz music, in fact, by the end of his career he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music. Louis Armstrong was one of the first popular Afro-American entertainers whose skin colour was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided.

Today would have been his 114 birthday!

By David Pulido Suarez

Student at CET Services
4 agosto, 2015