-- The Armstrong House Will Be Open for Tours from Noon to 4 pm --
FLUSHING, N.Y., June 23, 2010 ― The Louis Armstrong House Museum, in keeping with tradition, will celebrate the musical accomplishments of a great American – Louis Armstrong – by remaining open on the Fourth of July when Satchmo celebrated his birthday. Visitors can enjoy a free concert by Gwyn Jay Allen, one of Britain’s popular jazz entertainers, and his band, at 1 pm in the museum garden.
This concert will be Gwyn’s American debut. His band, which includes a trumpeter, will perform several Armstrong favorites and a selection of Gwyn’s own songs written about Louis and performed in authentic New Orleans style. Gwyn will also pay tribute to his African heritage and show off his diversity both vocally and instrumentally with African drum rhythms over jazz standards. The concert will conclude with a “Happy Birthday” musical tribute to Louis. Gwyn will blow out the candles in his honor, and the audience will be treated to birthday cake.
Gwyn Jay Allen
Born in Loughborough, United Kingdom, and raised in Sierra Leone, Africa, Gwyn served his musical apprenticeship singing and playing guitar on trains. His lifelong love of Armstrong propelled him to TV stardom as a finalist on “Stars in Their Eyes,” a British talent show. His big break came when he got the opportunity to perform at the world-famous Dorchester Hotel. Today he wows British audiences with his I Love Louis tribute concerts and Armstrong impersonation. Gwyn also has starred as Cab Calloway in the long-running West End smash hit musical “The Blues Brothers.”
Gwyn’s vocals, guitar and percussion can be heard on recordings by musical giants such as soul diva Diana Ross, reggae heavyweight Maxi Priest, and acid jazz band Jamiroquai. He has also collaborated with Basement Jaxx, who produced his single, “I Luv U Babe,” and has recorded with Latin jazz master Alex Wilson. Gwyn’s first solo album, “Land of Milk and Money,” debuted in 2001.
More information on Gwyn Jay Allen can be found on http://www.gwynjayallen.com/profile.html.
Visitors can also enjoy guided tours of Louis’ home from noon to 4:00 pm. Tickets are $8 for general admission; $6 for seniors and students with ID; children under four admitted free. The museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens.For directions, visit http://www.louisarmstronghouse.org/visiting/overview.htm.
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. Thanks to the vision and financial support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, 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 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.