There’s some controversy among music historians about Louis Armstrong’s birthday. Some say it’s July 4, as he believed and his driver’s licenses noted. Others claim that the legendary trumpeter came into this world on August 4, as per his baptismal certificate.
The Ladybugs, a traditional, five-piece jazz group known for their intricate harmonies, will perform on July 4, and organizers will serve red beans and rice (the birthday boy’s favorite dish), sweet tea and cake. Expect attendees to sing before the cake is sliced.
The series includes two other gigs in the historic house’s garden. On July 18, Jon-Erik Kellso & Friends will take to the stage. A trumpeter who joined his first big band at age 11, Kellso has a steady gig at Greenwich Village’s Ear Inn and Iguana in Midtown West. His specialty is swing, and his improvisations are inspiring.
Cynthia Sayer & Her Sparks Fly Quartet will do the honors for the final concert on August 15. Sayer is a banjoist/vocalist, and her quartet pays (and plays) tribute to Armstrong and other jazz luminaries from the 1920s and 1930s.
And to really hit the high note, the exhibit Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Louis Armstrong & Food will be on display in the museum during these shows.
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