Yesterday, I trekked out to Corona, Queens to join 50 or so folks for a garden jazz party at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. I've known about the Armstrong House for years but never got around to visiting for some dumb reason or another.
Tin Pan Blues Band were the featured performers at the party, tearing it up with their unique blend of gritty blues and nawlins-style swing jazz. The dozen or so lindy hoppers there had a grand time dancing on the garden deck. Joe even got Louis Armstrong's 86-year old neighbor to show us her moves next to the band!
Later, a bunch of us got a wonderful tour of the house, Louis Armstrong's home during the last three decades of his life, where he lived with his wife Lucille until his passing in 1971. A fairly modest two-bedroom, two-story house on a quiet residential street, the house has been lovingly preserved with the Armstrongs' furnishings, decor, and artwork from around the world. Audio recordings that Satcho made give you a rich sense of their domestic life together in this humble abode. I loved their retro-modern kitchen full of gadgets and appliances that must have amazed his visitors.
Doug, our tour guide, told us that the Museum plans to open up a large
visitor's center across the street over the next couple of years, with
more historical artifacts, documents, and a performance space!
Such a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. A highly recommended visit for any jazz fan.