NY, July 29, 2009 -- Louis Armstrong was famous for playing trumpet on his balcony to the delight of his neighbors in working-class Corona, Queens. Continuing the tradition, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is pleased to present Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra on Tuesday, August 11, for the eighth edition of Jazzmobile at LAHM. Organized for the benefit of our neighbors and the general public, the event will begin at 7 pm outside Louis’s home on 107th Street (between 34th and 37th Avenues).
Jazzmobile is a trailer that opens up to become a stage, and its annual stop at Armstrong House inspires a jazz block party--perhaps the only one in New York. Paying tribute to Satchmo on his birthday week, jazz aficionados from all over the world relax in the balmy night air alongside longtime Corona residents, some of whom remember when Louis lived on the block. The entire family is invited to bring folding chairs and come ready to have a good time!
Born in Mexico, raised in New York City, world-renowned pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill was exposed to Afro-Latin music at an early age: He’s the son of Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, who helped popularize the genre. The younger O’Farrill received formal training at the Manhattan School of Music, the Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and has performed with greats like Wynton Marsalis, Harry Belafonte and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1995 he began directing Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, a group dedicated to preserving the musical legacy of his father. The band had a residency at Birdland for more than a decade and has toured around the world; its recent release “Song for Chico” won the 2008 GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. In addition to his career as a master musician, Mr. O’Farrill works extensively in education, teaching everything from high school students to master’s candidates. He is currently on the faculty of SUNY Purchase.
It is only natural for jazz musicians to play in the home of the legendary Satchmo, who moved to Corona, Queens, with his wife Lucille in 1943. The couple spent the rest of their lives in this house. Now their residence—still containing its original furnishings—is a National Historic Landmark administered by Queens College. The tour explores the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong and includes tape recordings of him enjoying a meal with Lucille at his dining room table, chatting with friends in his living room, or practicing the trumpet in his den. For more information on the concerts and the Louis Armstrong House Museum, including directions, visit www.louisarmstronghouse.org.
Jazzmobile has been presenting free outdoor concerts every summer since 1964, bringing the great jazz artists of our time directly to the public.
This concert is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.