National Press Club

Satchmo at the National Press Club

Satchmo at the National Press Club

April 27, 2012 1:00 PM

Location: First Amendment Lounge

Press Conference with the National Press Club, Smithsonian Folkways and The Louis Armstrong Foundation to discuss the release of the live recording: "Satchmo at The National Press Club." It is believed this is the last recorded trumpet performance by the greatest trumpet player of all time. The concert took place January 29, 1971.

At the news conference officials from the three organizations will describe the process that brought this music, which so far has been heard by only a few hundred people, to the public and what it means for these institutions and their missions.

Louis Armstrong was in Washington in early 1971 to perform at the Inauguration of then incoming National Press Club President Vernon Louviere. Mr. Louviere, who can be heard being sworn in at the beginning of the record, was a journalist and a native of New Orleans. The Master of Ceremonies for the program was British journalist David Frost who can also be heard on the recording.

Armstrong had been too ill to play trumpet for most of 1970 and his performances, which were rare, consisted of 10 minutes of singing. But on this evening of January 29, 1971, Armstrong performed for nearly 30 minutes and played trumpet in addition to singing. The room was filled with more than 300 journalists and their enthusiastic guests. Armstrong lived for just 5 months after this performance. He made only a few public appearances during that time most of which were talk show interviews or of the short singing-only variety and none of which were recorded in this manner.

Immediately after the news conference, in the same location, there will be a panel discussion where musical experts will talk about what they hear in the music and use the record to illustrate their points. Among the panelists will be Oscar Cohn, Executive Director of the Armstrong Foundation; Chris Royal, an Associate Professor of Music at Howard University and a trumpet player and other guests. Both the news conference and the panel discussion are open to the working press and press attendance will be the priority. The Press Club is beginning to gather content about this project here. For those interested in purchasing the music you may go to the following URL: www.folkways.si.edu. The music will be available on that site starting April 24.

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

William McCarren
wmccarren@press.org