The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, NY, has opened a state-of-the-art center and archive which is the biggest in the world for a jazz artist. A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held last week for the center, which will preserve and expand the legacy and ideals of the great “Satchmo.”
The new building will house the 60,000-piece Louis Armstrong Archive and has a 75-seat venue that will stage performances, lectures, films, and educational experiences. The center will continue to work with longtime partners Queens College and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. It will present exhibitions, performances, readings, lectures, and screenings throughout the year.
The Queens Gazette reports that guests at the opening heard performances by Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, pianist and composer Jason Moran, who is also curator of the new center’s Here to Stay exhibition; Danny Jonokuchi, Christopher McBride and the Queens College All-Stars, Calvin Johnson and Native Soul, plus students from Frank Sinatra High School.
There was also a trumpet fanfare from such notable players as Bria Skonberg, Jon Faddis, Jon-Erik Kellso, Steven Bernstein, Frank Greene, Bruce Harris, Riley Mulherkar, Linda Briceño, Summer Camargo, Kali Rodriguez, David Adewumi, Tatum Greenblatt, and Danny Jonokuchi.
Said NYC cultural affairs commissioner Laurie Cumbo: “Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, and also a beloved member of the community here in Corona, Queens. This new education center and archive will keep both aspects of Armstrong’s legacy alive for generations to come – both the consummate artist and musician, and the incredible neighbor who treated local kids to ice cream each year on the 4th of July.
“We’re proud of the city’s major investment of over $10 million in this project, a long term commitment to the cultural vitality of Corona and in preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong. Schedule your visit to Satchmo’s house today!”
Buy or stream Louis Armstrong – The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946.