The Life of Louis Armstrong

The Life of Louis Armstrong - Adam Kuczynski History of...

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Adam Kuczynski History of Jazz Paper 2 The Life of Louis Armstrong When analyzing great jazz musicians of the 20 th Century, one name that always is mentioned is Louis Armstrong. Armstrong is considered one of the greats because people have said he made everyone else around him sound better than they usually did when he played. Although he was a great jazz musician, he still faced some adversity of his life. The life of Louis Armstrong is an interesting and fascinating one and it deserves to be looked at in a deeper level. Louis Armstrong was born into a very poor family in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4 th , 1901. He spent his youth in poverty in a rough neighborhood of uptown New Orleans, as his father, William Armstrong, decided to abandon the family when Louis was an infant. His mother, Mary Albert Armstrong, then left him and his younger sister Beatrice Armstrong Collins under the upbringing of his grandmother Josephine Armstrong. He first learned to play the cornet in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency, most notably for a long term after firing his stepfather's pistol into the air at a New Year's Eve celebration, as police records confirm. To express gratitude towards the Karnofskys, Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life. He followed the city's frequent brass band parades and listened to older musicians every chance he got, learning from Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Black Benny and above all Joe "King" Oliver, who acted as a mentor and almost a father figure to the young Armstrong. Armstrong later played in the brass bands and riverboats of New Orleans, and first started traveling with
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the well-regarded band of Fate Marable which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River and he described his time with Marable as "going to the University", since it gave him a much wider experience working with written arrangements. When Joe Oliver left town in 1919, Armstrong took Oliver's place in Kid Ory's band, regarded as the top hot jazz band in the city. He played second trumpet parts for the band until he became the best in the band and began to play the first trumpet parts. On March 19, 1918, Louis married Daisy Parker from Gretna, Louisiana. They
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The Life of Louis Armstrong - Adam Kuczynski History of...

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