2013-04-03 / Front Page

Louis Armstrong House Plays Never Heard Recordings

Louis Armstrong performing at Freedomland in 1961, at a concert at The Bronx amusement park that yielded the never before heard recordings now being played at Louis Armstrong House Museum.Louis Armstrong performing at Freedomland in 1961, at a concert at The Bronx amusement park that yielded the never before heard recordings now being played at Louis Armstrong House Museum.The Louis Armstrong House Museum and Jazz Journalists Association present “Louis Armstrong at Freedomland: Never Before Heard Recordings of an American Icon”, a listening session and lecture on April 30 celebrating International Jazz Day (sponsored by UNESCO), and the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month (a major initiative of the Smithsonian Institution).
As the crowning event of its exhibit, Louis Armstrong at Freedomland, the museum will host the public premier of newly discovered recordings by the trumpeter and entertainer, Armstrong, at a fabled although short-lived Bronx amusement park in 1961. Following the presentation, the Jazz Journalists Association will toast Armstrong at a special reception to mark the finale of its JazzApril media campaign in support of Jazz Appreciation Month, International Jazz Day and grassroots jazz activism in the U.S. and beyond.
Highlights from Armstrong’s live performances at an 85-acre park billed as the “World’s Largest Entertainment Center”, which boasted more than 63,000 guests for its opening day in 1960, will be played and interpreted by Ricky Riccardi, the museum’s Archivist and the author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. The recordings, recently donated to the museum by the son of Freedomland sound engineer Peter Denis, have never been circulated or issued, and are not listed in jazz discographies.
Many never before seen photographs of Armstrong performing in the Moon Bowl at Freedomland (which closed in 1964) and backstage, as well as ticket stubs, set lists, and other rare and unique items will be on exhibit.
Riccardi’s presentation, which will also preview the museum’s next exhibit, “Swinging with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong & Baseball”, begins at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, April 30. Reservations are required. Visitors should call the museum at 718-478-8274 for reservations.
April 30 was designated International Jazz Day by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011. Jazz Appreciation Month, launched in 2001, is a major initiative of the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, with many distinguished partners among U.S. government offices. Both International Jazz Day and Jazz Appreciation Month have been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Jazz Journalists Association’s JazzApril campaign was created and run independently, but with the cooperation of these entities.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th St. in Corona. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m, year-round.  The gift shop, exhibit area and garden can be explored before or after the tour.
Admission is $10, $7 for seniors, students and children; and free for LAHM members and children under four years old.
For more information, visit www.LouisArmstrongHouse.org or call the museum at 718-478-8274.
Thanks to the vision and funding of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes visitors from all over the world, six days per week, 52 weeks per year.  

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