August 2-4, 2013
When the City of New Orleans was planning a tribute to the late Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong on the centennial of his birth, they had no way of knowing how successful such an event would be at the height of the summer when most people are seeking comfort in the shade or in their air-conditioned homes. However, the summer heat was not the deterrent many skeptics thought it would be as thousands of people turned out for the first Satchmo SummerFest in 2001. In fact, it was so successful that it became an annual three-day event held on the first weekend of August every year since.
Sponsored by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., the organization that also sponsors the highly successful French Quarter Festival and Christmas New Orleans Style, "SatchmoFest," as it is commonly known, has evolved into one of the top celebrations in a city internationally renowned for its large-scale festivities. For many people who regularly attend the festival it is the highlight of the summer season.
Satchmo SummerFest 2013 will take place over the weekend of August 2-4, primarily on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint, conveniently situated on the edge of the French Quarter between the French Market and Esplanade Avenue. The festival is free and open to the public.
Outdoor events at SatchmoFest feature live bands on several stages, starring some of New Orleans' top musicians. Many of them will pay their tributes to Armstrong and his music. Samplings of New Orleans' world-famous culinary delicacies will be offered for sale in and around the festival site, while refreshing Southern-style beverages and other soft drinks will keep you cool and hydrated.
Included among the live entertainment headliners for this year's SatchmoFest are:
- Allen Toussaint
- John Boutte
- Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
- Ellis Marsalis
- Wendell Brunious
- James Andrews
- Jeremy Davenport
- Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns
- Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony
- Preservation Hall Brass Band
- Connie Jones and Tim Laughlin
- The Dukes of Dixieland
- Charmaine Neville
- Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders
- Sharon Martin
...and many others.
Click here for a more complete lineup, with times, days and stages.
Indoor events will feature seminars, lectures by jazz legends and scholars and "informances" in the third floor theatre inside the Old U.S. Mint. Festival visitors will also be able to view musical exhibits in the Old U.S. Mint, including Fats Domino's restored piano, a 50-year anniversary tribute to Preservation Hall, which also features a vintage cornet reported to be the first one ever owned by Armstrong.
Click here for a complete list of seminars being offered this year.
Among the other SatchmoFest highlights are the Friday morning second line parade from Jackson Square to the Old U.S. Mint, a commemorative Satchmo-themed Jazz Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church in the Treme district early Sunday morning, and Kermit Ruffins' Trumpet Tribute to Louis Armstrong at the close of the festival - complete with birthday cake. Many of the SatchmoFest events are "kid-friendly" and educational for the youngsters who want to learn more about one of America's greatest musical entertainers.
For the most up-to-date information on Satchmo SummerFest call French Quarter Festivals at (504) 522-5730 or log onto www.fqfi.org.