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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LOUIS ARMSTRONG CENTENARY (article first published : 2001-08-12)

Louis Armstrong, affectionately known as Satchmo, was originally believed to have been born in 1900 but the recent discovery of his baptismal certificate proves that he was born a year later, on August 4, 1901.

Nigel Vermaas commemorates the great jazz musician and entertainer in his regular jazz feature The Sound of Surprise in The Bruce Millar Show every Thursday in August at around 10h50 when listeners can enjoy a different aspect of Satchmo and his music.

In The Inner Ear on August 15 at 21h04 (repeated on August 19 at 09h30), Nigel presents Louis Armstrong: Jazz Ambassador This will include some rare recordings of Louis’ visit to Ghana in the 50’s and some unique commentary from Armstrong himself. The programme also features unusual insights into the man and his music by South African jazz educator and musician, Hotep Galeta.

Also discussed in the programme are two of the trumpeters who have been heavily influenced by Satch: the controversial jazz figure Wynton Marsalis as well as Nicholas Payton, who Nigel saw perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague in mid-July.

“Louis Armstrong is not just a jazz icon,” says Nigel. “He represents triumph over adversity and the way good humour and honesty allows genius to be in touch with the common man. He was an ambassador for the Unites States, yes, but also an ambassador for music, and for guts and integrity. And, like the truly great artists, he made it all look so easy.”




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