HEAR LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S MAGICAL READING
OF "'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS'"
CORONA, NY, November 21, 2011 -- The house that Louis Armstrong, the founding father of American Jazz, and his wife Lucille called home since 1943 is offering special guided holiday tours from December 1 through December 30. In keeping with Louis and Lucille’s tradition, the mid-century house will be brightly decorated for the holidays.
Museum tours showcase the art, music and magical voice of Louis Armstrong. This holiday season, audio clips from Louis’s homemade recordings will include a rare at-home reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Satchmo himself. Visitors will also hear a recording of “Zat You Santa Claus” and Louis listening to Nat King Cole sing “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” with Louis chiming in for an impromptu duet.
The historic house tour by trained docents is a 40-minute, guided interpretive tour of the only preserved home of a jazz legend and African American in New York City. The Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) is a National Historic landmark and New York City landmark. All of its furnishings are original, giving visitors the feeling that Louis and Lucille just stepped out for a minute since no one has lived in the home since their deaths.
“We are excited to breathe the warmth of the holiday spirit into the house through the legacy of Louis and Lucille,” says Michael Cogswell, LAHM director. “Our tour offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in arts and design, are a student or fan of music, a history buff, or are just looking for something to do with the kids, the Louis Armstrong House Museum will charm you, while telling the story of an American icon.”
Unique Holiday Gifts
Visitors can stop by the LAHM gift shop for unique gifts to jazz up the holiday season—such as the collectible, hard-to-find, limited edition 10-CD box set “Satchmo – Louis Armstrong, Ambassador of Jazz” and the Ambassador series CDs from Sweden containing rare and previously unreleased material.
In addition, the museum features children’s books and gifts including a “West End Blues” Frisbee that looks like a 78-record. The museum has a wonderful selection of books, CDs and a full line of exclusive gifts including T-shirts, tote bags and Jazzmen Rice. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is the only retailer in the Northeast of this Louisiana-grown jasmine rice.
Louis Armstrong House Museum Exhibition
The Louis Armstrong House Museum holds several collections of photographs, sound recordings, and letters, manuscripts, instruments and artifacts, making it the largest publicly held archival collection in the world devoted to a jazz musician. Throughout the house are many objects d’art from the Armstrongs’ world travels, including a painting by Leroy Nieman of Gerry Mulligan, one of the foremost baritone saxophonists in the history of jazz; a sketch of Arturo Toscanini; and a print of the Crucifixion of Christ by Salvador Dali.
A portrait of Louis Armstrong painted by Tony Bennett hangs in the den where Louis made his home recordings. The house also features a 1960s designer kitchen with floor-to-ceiling turquoise cabinets and an all- mirrored bathroom featuring gold-plated swan-head bath fixtures.
Planning Your Visit
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Avenue in Corona, Queens. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm. Guided 40-minute house tours start every hour on the hour. The last tour of the day is at 4:00 pm. The gift shop, exhibit area and garden can be explored before or after the tour. No reservations are necessary for individuals but groups of 8 or more should call ahead to reserve at 718.478.8274.
Parking is available within the neighborhood and the museum is accessible by subway as well. Take the 7 train to 103 St-Corona Plaza. Choose the exit on the north side of Roosevelt Avenue. Walk north up 103rd Street. Walk two blocks and make a right onto 37th Avenue. Walk 4 short blocks and make a left onto 107th Street. The museum is on the left side, 1/2 block north of 37th Avenue.
Admission is $10.00, $7.00 for seniors, students and children and free LAHM members and children under 4. Groups with reservations enjoy a discount on admission. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is closed on all Mondays and the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It is always open on the 4th of July, the date when Louis’s birthday is traditionally celebrated.