Registration Underway for Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp

Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp
Source: Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp

Aspiring young musicians who are seeking a unique opportunity to study with world class musicians are encouraged to apply for the 30th annual Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp, said Jackie Harris, executive director of camp and the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Educational Foundation.  

The jazz camp will begin on Monday, June 24 and will conclude on July 12, 2024. It will be held at Loyola University’s Communications and Music Complex, 6363 St. Charles Avenue.  Tuition for the jazz camp varies for in-state, out-of-state and returning students. Some scholarships are also available. Students applying for full or partial scholarships must be recommended by their music teacher. For more information or to register call (504) 715-9295 or email 

Classes have traditionally been offered in woodwinds, brass, piano, electric and upright bass, drums, strings, vocals, large and small ensembles, big band, hip hop, as well as swing and second line dance. Students must be enrolled in camp as an instrumentalist or vocalist to qualify for the hip hop course. They must also be between 14 and 21 years of age and be invited to participate. An alumni band with special guests will perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year.    

New Orleans born NEA Jazz Master Donald Harrison Jr. is the camp’s Artistic Director. Legendary bandleader, trombonist and author Fred Wesley is the 2024 Artist-in-Residence. One of the forefathers of funk, Wesley is still setting the standards with his jazz-funk band The New JBs. Together, at its core for more than 30 years, the band is a living celebration of roots, funk and more, performing such hits as “Pass the Peas” made with James Brown and the JBs including Maceo Parker, as well as selections from the P-Funk years and Wesley’s own and others’ soulful jazz, funk and blues compositions.

Born in Columbus, Georgia, and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Wesley began his career as a teenage trombonist with Ike and Tina Turner. He later was music director, arranger, trombonist and a primary composer for Brown from 1968-1975, then arranged for and played with Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band. 

By Alex Const, CC BY 2.0

With Brown, Wesley became “the world’s most famous sideman, orchestrating the sinuous grooves and contributing the bold, surgically precise solos that defined the language of funk.” He helped take funk to the next level with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins. Wesley recorded a dozen solo albums including the cult favorite “House Party,” and his latest “From The Blues and Back,” scheduled for official release in early 2024. He is featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “When We Were Kings,” and countless other documentaries and books about funk while also giving master classes around the world. 

His critically acclaimed memoir, “Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Side Man” (Duke University Press, 2002) chronicles in hilarious stories a half century of music history through the eyes of one of the world’s most sampled musicians. Also, a veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra, Wesley has worked with scores of other artists, from Ray Charles to Trombone Shorty. His current other projects include the jazz organ trio Generations and the klezmer-funk-hip hop unit Abraham Incorporated. 

Jazz Camp faculty members include Donald Harrison, saxophone; BlaqNmilD, hip hop; Darrell Lavigne, piano; Dwight Fitch, piano; Brian Quezergue, electric bass; Chris Severin, upright bass; Jonathan Bloom, percussions; Herman Lebeau, drums; Don Vappie, guitar; Roderick Paulin, saxophone; Marlon Jordan, trumpet; Andrew Baham, trumpet; Breonna Jordan, swing dance; Kelly Dixon and Norman Dixon Jr., second line dance and Stephanie Jordan, vocals. A nationally acclaimed chanteuse, Jordan has performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder and has appeared at dozens of festivals and clubs around the world. Ninety percent of the camp’s faculty members are degreed teachers.

Photo source: Danae Columbus

The late Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan was the camp’s co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus.  “Kidd dedicated his life to teaching youngsters of all ages. His passing in 2023 was the end of an era of music education in New Orleans. His spirit and determination was a shining example that gave musicians the confidence to express themselves with ‘no compromise’,” said Harris. 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.  

The Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp is sponsored by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation along with the ASCAP Foundation, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Goldring Family Foundation, Cox Communications, New Orleans City Council, Kidd Jordan scholarships sponsored by Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Mirashayama Music Inc., Black Lindy Hoppers Board of Directors, Ruth Fertel Foundation, Kent and Christine Jordan, Dr. Christoper Marrero, Preservation Hall Foundation, Dan Hydar, Newburns, Mark & Kara Samuels, Carol Balthazar Scholarship sponsored by Michele A. Brierre, Carol Balthazar Scholarship sponsored by Tina Balthazar, Ed Robinson, Jr. in Memory of Octavia G. Robinson, Newell Usdin Fund, Thomas Rieke, New Orleans Airlift, Marlin and Renee Gusman, Dr. Michael White, Kidd Jordan Scholarship sponsored by Genevieve & Michael Stewart, and Dr. Ned Shimizu.   

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