-- Will Also Discuss His Friendship with Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong at Free,
Open-to-the-Public Event at Queens College on Sunday, April 21 --
FLUSHING, NY, April 08, 2013 – On Sunday, April 21, Stephen Maitland-Lewis will be at Queens College to read from his book, Emeralds Never Fade, a story of the Holocaust. The novel ties together Maitland-Lewis’ love of music and the world of finance with the Holocaust and Israel in an effort to define what it means to be Jewish in the modern world.
The book, which is set before World War II, focuses on two German boys, one who visits each week to teach the other piano. When the Nazis seize power, the lessons must end - one of the boys is Jewish. Forty years later, a lost family heirloom will decide their fate. Emeralds won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction. The award is given annually by the Independent Book Publishers Associations (IBPA).
The award-winning author will also discuss his friendship with jazz legend Louis Armstrong, how it affected his own life and career and the impact of the jazz great’s legacy on the world. As a 12-year-old Jewish boy in England during the post-World War II period, Stephen Maitland-Lewis would listen over and over to 78 RPM recordings of Louis Armstrong’s music. No one was more astonished than he when a fan letter he wrote to Armstrong resulted in a private lunch with the famous musician.
Even as his illustrious career began to take shape, Maitland-Lewis’ correspondence with Armstrong continued for 15 years until the jazz legend died in 1971. The jazz aficionado went on to become an author, British attorney and international investment banker, but has said that he will “forever be touched by Armstrong’s greatness.” In November 2010 he was named a board trustee for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, which is administered by Queens College, coming full circle with his association with Armstrong.
Michael Cogswell, director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will introduce the author with a brief multimedia presentation that highlights the correspondence between Armstrong and Maitland-Lewis from the museum’s collections, as well as Armstrong’s profound love and respect for Jews. (Armstrong wore a Star of David around his neck and asked his wife Lucille to always keep a box of matzoh in the house).
Sunday, April 21
Program: 4 – 5:30 pm; book signing and reception: 5:30 – 7 pm
Queens College LeFrak Concert Hall, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11367
Campus map: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/2d/Pages/default.aspx
This event is co-sponsored by the QC Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding (CERRU) and the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 170 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs.