arts 09.23.03


"Louis Armstrong loosened the world, helped people to be able to say 'Yeah,' and to walk with a little dip in their hip."
-Hugh Masekela

"If you don't like Louis Armstrong, you don't know how to love."
-Mahalia Jackson

Few things in life are as irresistible as Louis Armstrong's gushing horn or caressing growl. As life-forces go, Satchmo had a super-concentrate.

Starting next month, you'll be able to feel some of the Satchmo magic at the Louis Armstrong House in Corona, Queens that Louis and his wife Lucille bought in 1943 and lived in for the rest of their lives. This national historic landmark has had a $1.6 million restoration, but all the furnishings are authentic and no one has lived in the house since the Armstrongs.

As you 'visit the Armstrongs', you'll see gold-plated trumpets, scrapbooks, and gold records. Three of the rooms will play Satchmo's home recordings of him telling stories, eating dinner with Lucille, and playing with General, their dog.

You can visit the house located at 34-56 107th Street starting October 15. For more info, call 718.997.3670 or check the website

Under the same auspices and open to all is the Louis Armstrong Archives at the Rosenthal Library of Queens College in Flushing. In the archives are thousands of photographs, reel-to-reel tapes, scrapbooks, correspondence, awards and more. It's open M-F 10-5, Saturday by appointment. The staff prefers that you call ahead in any case: 718.997.3670.
Satchmo wasn't the only jazz musician who lived in Queens: Ella, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Fats Waller, and Dizzy Gillespie are a few of the others. The Queens Jazz Trail, led by historians and musicologists, is a van-and-walking tour of the neighborhoods of these greats. The next tour is Saturday, October 4, from 10am-1pm, starting at Flushing Town Hall. It's $20 and you need to reserve in advance (718.463.7700, ext. 223). More info at

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