From the streets of New Orleans to cities across the globe, the legend of Louis Armstrong lives on. Today musicians such as Trombone Shorty and Shamarr Allen take his tradition to new heights. On the eve of Satchmo Summerfest, three local organizations are scouting the next generation’s Armstrong. The French Market Corporation, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra host the third annual Seeking Satch trumpet competition.
Contest chairman, Delfeayo Marsalis, who is also one of the event’s judges, is passionate about educating young people about New Orleans’ rich musical heritage. As an educator, Marsalis has composed nearly 80 songs that have been used to introduce the youth to jazz. “Mentoring has always been an important element in jazz,” contends the renowned New Orleans trombonist. “Louis Armstrong learned first-hand from older musicians such as King Oliver and Kid Ory, sharing the bandstand and creating collective masterpieces. In this same tradition, all Seeking Satch participants will have the opportunity to perform with a trio of professional musicians in a culminating performance.”
The Seeking Satch competition will be held this weekend during Satchmo Summerfest on August 4 from 10:00am – 11:30am. In addition to performing a personal selection for judges Marsalis, Herlin Riley, and Wendell Brunious, each contestant will also be asked to complete a sight-reading exercise and deliver their own rendition of the Armstrong classic “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” Prior to revealing the results, the lot of sixth through twelfth grade contestants will have the opportunity to partake in a jam session backed by a trio of professional musicians. Upon announcing the winners, Marsalis, Riley, and Brunious will conduct a panel and discuss their mission of encouraging young musicians to carry on Pops’ legacy.
The lucky (and skilled) student who claims first prize will win a $500 cash, a new trumpet, and a paying gig at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. If you’re out early this weekend, treat yourself to a sneak peak at the future of New Orleans music.