[Dixielandjazz] New Orleans and Satchmo Summerfest

thompson thompson" <rebecca.e.thompson@verizon.net
Sun, 11 Aug 2002 15:03:42 -0500

Jim and I returned last Monday from New Orleans were we attended the Satchmo
Summerfest.  You may recall that last year a symposium and related
"festival" was held in honor of Louis Armstrong's 100th birthday.  Since
that created revenue during their "off" season, they decided to make this a
yearly event.  This year's lectures didn't seem to match the ones held last
year, but then, how many "personal" recollections of Satchmo can one

One presentation that was especially interesting was the one by Michael
Cogswell, director of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives.  He showed
slides of Louie's house being renovated as well as other pictures that have
become available.

Another presentation featured the short films Louie did with "I'll Be Glad
When You're Dead, You Rascal You!" and "Shine".  The defense of doing these
was to promote his concert tour because the "shorts" would be shown in
theaters prior to his arrival.  Also, Louie used the song "I'll Be Glad" to
attack people and some of them never got the joke!  The police department of
one southern town were Louis was arrested was invited (by Louie) to his
concert where he told them he would play a song just for them.  He did too..
He played "I'll Be Glad......." and they all sat on the front row and
enjoyed it and delighted in the fact he had dedicated a song to
them!!!!!!!!! NEVER catching on to the message Louis was sending.

There were bandstands set up on the grounds of  The Mint.  Needless to say
there was LITTLE shade (the bandstand was at least covered) and the
temperature was over 90 and the humidity was almost that much too.  Don't
know how those musicians managed to keep up the level of quality they did
under those conditions.

It was such as surprise to see Dave Ruffner of Fresno's Blue Street Jazz
Band there.  He had brought his youth band "Raisin Babies" and they were a
hit!  Talk about hope for the future of OKOM!!!!  Their girl singer has so
much maturity in her performance.  AND the trumpet player is something else!
So happy for Dave to get to hear the Kid Ory presentation since he is such a
fan and history buff.

There has been much said on this list about the Dukes of Dixieland and how
the band now is not the REAL Dukes.  Well, we heard that band and let me
tell you!  They play their backsides off and keep the audience's attention.
Nothing in the least to be ashamed of in the way of performance!

The MOST fun, however, was Saturday night at Fritzels.  Dave sat in with the
house band (Jacques Gauthe, clarinet and s.sax) AND Jack Maheu.  Talk about
the master's touch.  When Jack started playing EVERYTHING came alive and the
other musicians played up another notch.  Hated to leave there at midnight,
but it had been a l-o-n-g day (11 hours of musical listening that day).

There were so many good bands -- but I have to mention one in particular led
by Dr. Michael White.   IF you don't have the CD, "Tribute to George Lewis"
by Michael White, I urge you to get it.  The band members are from New
Orleans musical families and have a real feel for OKOM.


Rebecca Thompson
Flower Mound, Texas