Summer in the city begins on July 4th, Louis Armstrong’s traditional birthday, when the Louis Armstrong House Museum kicks off its signature summer concert series Hot Jazz / Cool Garden now in its 10th year. For three days this summer, hot jazz is served up with red beans ’n rice in the Armstrongs’ Japanese inspired garden. Birthday cake will be served on July 4th and Hot Jazz / Cool Garden series subscribers will enjoy a soul food luncheon too. It’s a wonderful world at the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
Hot Jazz / Cool Garden 2016 highlights three outstanding NYC bands. On Monday, July 4th the Gotham Kings featuring Alphonso Horne will present a repertoire inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band. David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band will perform on Saturday, July 23rd with a tribute to the great trumpeter and Jane Monheit will present a “Louis & Ella” Verve record anniversary tribute on Saturday, August 13th. Downbeat for each concert is at 2:00 pm. Advance single tickets are $18 and include free admission to the museum. A series subscription is $45. Tickets can be purchased online at LouisArmstrongHouse.org.
Meet the Bands
Gotham Kings featuring Alphonso Horne
Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Gotham Kings, featuring trumpeters Alphonso Horne and Riley Mulherkar demonstrates the versatility, style, and bond to be had in a two-trumpet act. The virtuosity of the young Louis Armstrong and innovative genius of King Oliver is passed back and forth interchangeably between Horne and Mulherkar. Gotham Kings weaves the sound of New Orleans into a rich musical fabric that demonstrates the history of the trumpet and the story of jazz.
Trumpeter Alphonso Horne has performed with many renowned jazz artists including Wynton Marsalis, Wes Anderson, Marcus Roberts, Delfeayo Marsalis, Diana Reeves, Michael Feinstein, and Jane Monheit. Alphonso has won many including awards the National Trumpet Competition and in the Aug, 2011 issue of JET Magazine, world-renowned trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis included Alphonso in a list of 16 young jazz musicians entitled, “Wynton’s Picks: Who’s Got Next.”
In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Horne subbed for Wynton Marsalis in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and toured with the orchestra for the 2013 25th Anniversary Tour. Mr. Horne also performed on Broadway in the 17-piece orchestra for the show “After Midnight” featuring guest artists Fantasia Barrino, Dule Hill, K.D. Lang, Babyface, Toni Braxton and many more.
Mr. Horne is a member of the Count Basie Orchestra and is currently premiering in the Broadway show, “Shuffle Along” featuring Savion Glover and Audra McDonald.
David Ostwald’s Louis Armstorng Eternity Band
Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. The band is currently in its sixteenth season of its critically acclaimed weekly Wednesday evening engagement at New York City’s Birdland. This gig attracts a who’s-who of NYC’s jazz scene, both on stage and in the audience. Guest musicians have included Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Jon Hendricks, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, and blues great Big Joe Turner, whose recording with the band was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1986.
Since 1980, this acoustically electrifying group has appeared nationally and internationally in varied settings including Lincoln Center’s Midsummer’s Night Swing, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y, Lionel Hampton’s New Orleans-style funeral procession, and Scotland’s Nairn International Jazz Festival.
Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalist-musicians. With her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her artistic leap. Jane had thought about recording an Ella tribute for a long time. On this new offering, Monheit pays joyous tribute to Ella while sharing a definitive portrait of herself, guided by her producer, arranger, and trumpet great, Nicholas Payton.
At the young age of 20, Jane became first runner-up in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute’s vocal competition behind the late, great Teri Thornton. Soon after, Jane released her stunning debut album, Never Never Land, featuring Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Lewis Nash. The first of four recordings for N-Coded—a label founded by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen with Phil Ramone—the album was voted Best Recording Debut by the Jazz Journalists Association and stayed on the Billboard jazz chart for a year.
Come Dream with Me (N-Coded) followed in 2001 with a No. 1 debut on the Billboard jazz chart and including a wider range of Jane’s influences as well as popular jazz standards. Jane debuted six more critically acclaimed albums through 2013 reflecting Monheit’s dual interests in jazz and cabaret. Monheit has also appeared on the albums of many other artists over the years, including Terence Blanchard, Tom Harrell, Freddy Cole, Mark O’Connor, David Benoit, and Ivan Lins.
About the Louis Armstrong House Museum:
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, New York. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm. This year, the museum will be open on Monday, July 4th in honor of Louis Armstrong’s traditional birthday. Travel directions and more at LouisArmstrongHouse.org or 718.478.8274.
Currently on exhibit: Hotter Than That: 90 Years of Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five.
Parking is available in the neighborhood and the museum is accessible by subway via the 7 train.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum, the long-time home of Louis and Lucille Armstrong, is a National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark in Corona, Queens. Since its opening in 2003, more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world have been introduced to the wonderful world of Louis Armstrong. The museum’s programs feature historic house tours, jazz concerts, and a wide variety of educational programs. The museum owns and administers the largest research archives in the world for any jazz musician.
Thanks to the vision and funding of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes visitors, six days per week, 52 weeks per year. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Association of African American Museums, Museums Council of New York City, New York State Museums Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, NYC & Co., and the Queens Tourism Council. The museum is a cultural center of Queens College / CUNY and constituent of Kupferberg Center for the Arts.