Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was to jazz what Einstein was to physics, King to Civil Rights, Shakespeare to comedy and tragedy, and Oprah to televised entertainment. He taught the trumpet to do things the instrument didn't know it was capable of doing, and he could turn a song upside down with that deep, gravelly voice; Armstrong's contributions to the advancement of jazz as an art form are inestimable. All this, accomplished by a man who was born into abject poverty at Liberty and Perdido streets in New Orleans' Third Ward - better known as "Storyville."

August 4th marks the anniversary of the birth of the great trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong who died in 1971 at age 69, one month shy of his 70th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of the musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage. She speaks with Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic, playwright, and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

Take a trip to New Orleans with WRTI's J. Michael Harrison on Tuesday night! We're bringing NOLA directly to you in honor of Mardi Gras. Okay, so we don’t have the warm weather, the parades, or the fun cocktails…but we do have some of the best music from the Crescent City.

You'll hear music from some of New Orleans’ finest, like the Marsalis Family, Louis Prima, Irvin Mayfield, and, of course, Louis Armstrong.

Big Band Jazz hits the big music streets this Sunday evening, August 4th at 7 pm. From "Green Dolphin" to "Basin Street" to "Broadway" there's a lot of ground to cover...including  a couple of appearances from Louis Armstrong on the 112th anniversary of his birth.

This coming Sunday marks the anniversary of the birth of trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis  Armstrong.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of a musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage.  

Pops, A Life of Louis Armstrong, by Wall Street Journal Drama Critic Terry Teachout, was published in 2010. Teachout also wrote the play Satchmo at the Waldorf, which ran at the Wilma Theater last year.

Trumpet virtuoso, singer and bandleader Louis Armstrong propelled jazz onto the mainstream stage, shaping the music with his own distinctive style.  Jazz documentary producer Ken Burns says “Armstrong is to music what Einstein is to Physics, and the Wright Brothers are to travel.”

Yet,  the man behind the legend is less well known.  The Wilma Theater is now staging Satchmo at the Waldorf, a one-man show by Terry Teachout, who is also the Wall Street Journal drama critic and the author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.  Both the book and the play are informed by audio tapes Armstrong made of his private conversations with friends and family.

Susan Lewis talks with playwright Terry Teachout, actor John Douglas Thompson, and WRTI's Maureen Malloy about Armstrong and his life, and about how the tapes, the book, and the play reveal a different, lesser-known side of the jazz icon.

As The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia stages the Terry Teachout play about the legendary trumpet player Louis Armstrong, Susan Lewis explores the life and work of this musical icon.

Information about Satchmo At The Waldorf at The Wilma Theater through December 2nd.

The virtuosi of Canadian Brass have made the brass quintet an exciting vehicle for serious concert music. The quintet has a long history of recording classical repertoire. They have a special affinity for Baroque music, which requires the musical structure that has become the Canadian Brass' trademark.

Their more than 60 recordings include works by Purcell, Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Pachelbel, Beethoven and Wagner ? all in meticulously crafted transcriptions that are setting new musical traditions in brass performance. They are especially drawn to the works of J.S. Bach.

Part of WRTI's celebration of Black History month, Meridee Duddleston facilitates a glimpse of the ties between a jazz musician, a lyric structure, a playwright, and a poet.