Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp Begins; Fundraiser Set for July 6

Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Jazz Camp Artistic Director Donald Harrison Jr. and Louis Armstrong Foundation Director Jackie Harris are helping more than 40 aspiring young jazz artists improve their skills this summer.

The 27th annual Louisiana “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp for aspiring musicians began this week, according to Jackie Harris, executive director of the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Educational Foundation.  A fundraising concert to support the camp’s operations, “Honoring the Past and Looking Toward the Future,” will be held Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart Street. The fundraising concert is being presented by the New Orleans Arts and Cultural Host Committee. Former New Orleans First Lady Sybil Morial chairs the host committee.

For the first time in three years, the camp is being held in person through July 8 at Loyola University’s Communications and Music Complex, 6363 St. Charles Avenue. Classes are offered in woodwinds, brass, piano, electric and upright bass, drums, strings, vocals, music competition as well as second line dance. 

NEA Jazz Master Donald Harrison Jr. is the camp’s new Artistic Director. New Orleans born, Harrison is a cultural activist, saxophonist, composer and educator. As a saxophonist, Harrison is the recipient of the 2022 A. B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy. He is well known for his hard-swinging improvisational style and the creation of “Noveau Swing,” a blend of jazz with R&B, hip-hop, rock and soul. His dedication to preserving the music and culture of New Orleans has been crucial to assuring its important legacy survive. He has also mentored young world-renowned jazz artists from New Orleans and beyond including Jon Batiste, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Esperanza Spaulding.  

He has also served as artistic director and educator for Tipitina’s Foundation’s Internship Program. Harrison studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts with Ellis Marsalis, Jr. before attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed and recorded with distinguished musicians such as Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Lena Horne, Eddie Palmieri, the Notorious B.I.G. as well as with the Cookers. Harrison is the son of the late New Orleans folklorist Donald Harrison, Sr., who was known for his involvement in local Mardi Gras Indian traditions.  Both Are Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs. “I am excited for the opportunity to be able to help guide this next generation of musicians,” said Harrison. 

Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan is the camp’s Artistic Director Emeritus.  Jordan co-founded the camp in 1995 while he was Chairman of Jazz Studies at Southern University New Orleans and Artistic Director of the Don Jamison School of Music for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. The camp’s other co-founder was Harris, who at the time served as the Executive Director of the Music and Entertainment Commission of New Orleans as part of Mayor Marc Morial’s administration. The camp was presented by the Music and Entertainment Commission until 2002. The New Orleans Arts and Cultural Host Committee assumed the responsibility of presenting and raising money for the program.  

Jazz camp student Cameron Watson hams it up on the keyboards
Jazz camp student, Cameron Watson, hams it up on the keyboards.

Educator, vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris is the 2022 Artist-in-Residence. A four-time GRAMMY nominee, Harris has been heralded as “one of the most important young artists in Jazz” by the Los Angeles Times. He is a seven-time Best Mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association, the recipient of Downbeat’s Critics Poll Winner for Vibraphone.  He won a 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. Harris earned a BM in Classical Percussion and an MM in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He tours worldwide as a guest artist and with his band Blackout. “Given the challenging circumstances that our children are facing, it’s extremely important to empower them with healthy tools of emotional and intellectual expression. Jazz as an art form, uniquely provides a nurturing and safe space for all people to express their truth is through music. The Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp is doing absolutely vital work on behalf of our children and community,” said Harris.   

The July 6th fundraiser is a faculty and artists live concert featuring Donald Harrison, Stefon Harris, Germaine Bazzle, Brian Quezergue, Jonathan Bloom, Darrell Lavigne, Marlon Jordan, Herman Lebeaux, Roderick Paulin, Chris Severin, Tj Norris, Clarence Johnson, Joel Duson, Don Vappie, and Andrew Baham. Tickets, tax deductible, start at $50 for the 8 p.m. concert and are $100 for the concert and a reception which takes place from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. More than 2,000 young people have participated in the jazz camp including Jon Batiste, Dr. Courtney Bryan and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews.  Tickets to the fundraiser are available on Eventbrite. https://sachmojazzcampfacultyandartistconcert.eventbrite.com

The Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp is sponsored by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation along with the Herb Alpert Foundation, ASCAP, Gia Maione Prima Foundation, Loyola University New Orleans, COX and the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development. This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by Arts New Orleans. Other sponsors include Goldring Family Foundation, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Ruth U. Fertel Foundation, Hon. Marlin and Renee Gusman, Dr. Christopher Marrero, Dan Hydar, Tom Rieke, Dr. Michael White, and Kent and Christine Jordan. Carol Balthazar Scholarship made possible by Michelle Brierre and the Lenox Davis Scholarship made possible by Mervin and Jo Ann Verrett.   

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