Although Armstrong claimed to be born in , various documents, notably a baptismal record, indicate that was his birth year. He grew up in dire poverty in New Orleans , Louisiana, when jazz was very young. In he was sent to the Colored Waifs Home as a juvenile delinquent. Armstrong developed rapidly: he played in marching and jazz bands, becoming skillful enough to replace Oliver in the important Kid Ory band about , and in the early s he played in Mississippi riverboat dance bands. Fame beckoned in when Oliver, then leading a band in Chicago , sent for Armstrong to play second cornet. There he created his most important early works, the Armstrong Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings of —28, on which he emerged as the first great jazz soloist. By then the New Orleans ensemble style, which allowed few solo opportunities, could no longer contain his explosive creativity. By that time Armstrong was playing trumpet , and his technique was superior to that of all competitors. Altogether, his immensely compelling swing ; his brilliant technique; his sophisticated, daring sense of harmony; his ever-mobile, expressive attack, timbre, and inflections; his gift for creating vital melodies; his dramatic, often complex sense of solo design; and his outsized musical energy and genius made these recordings major innovations in jazz. Armstrong was a famous musician by , when he moved from Chicago to New York City and performed in the theatre review Hot Chocolates.
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Louis Armstrong, the cele brated jazz trumpeter and singer, died in his sleep yester day morning at his home in the Corona section of Queens. He had observed his 71st birthday Sunday. Death was attributed to a heart attack. Beth Israel Medical Center after 10 weeks of treatment for heart, liver and kidney dis orders. He seemed in good health during an interview June 23, in which he played his trumpet and announced his in tention to return to public per formances. Nixon and I share the sorrow of millions of Amer icans at the death of Louis Armstrong. One of the archi tects of an American art form, a free and individual spirit, and an artist of worldwide fame, his great talents and magnificent spirit added rich ness and pleasure to all our lives.
Saluting Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known, who was born on 15 August in Montreal, Canada. He was friends with Louis Armstrong and the pair worked regularly. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help. Email or Phone Password Forgot account? See more of Louis Armstrong on Facebook. Log In. Forgot account? Not Now.
An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong's charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, , in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a neighborhood so poor that it was nicknamed "The Battlefield. Armstrong had a difficult childhood: His father was a factory worker and abandoned the family soon after Louis's birth. His mother, who often turned to prostitution, frequently left him with his maternal grandmother. Armstrong was obligated to leave school in the fifth grade to begin working. A local Jewish family, the Karnofskys, gave young Armstrong a job collecting junk and delivering coal. They also encouraged him to sing and often invited him into their home for meals.