The 2015 Satchmo SummerFest is officially underway. The festival kicked off today at 11 a.m. at the Old U.S. Mint with a “Spirit of Satchmo” award ceremony and performances by the Storyville Stompers and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
The Storyville Stompers paraded their way from the Washington Artillery into the Old U.S. Mint, officially kicking off the 15th edition of the festival off with sounds of traditional jazz and celebration.
French Quarter Festivals Executive Director Marci Schramm then took over, emphasizing the importance of tradition and conservation for the city of New Orleans, and pointing out the upcoming Louis Armstrong birthday on August 4 as a fitting occasion to celebrate our music and culture, and Armstrong’s legacy.
Schramm introduced the inaugural “Spirit of Satch Awards” that recognize members of the community who “celebrate Louis all across the world.”
Among the recipients of the awards were:
- Dr. Connie Atkinson, professor at the University of New Orleans, for jazz education;
- Chevron Corporation, as a “Corporate and Community Superstar” for continuing to sponsor the local festival;
- Preservation Hall, for its ongoing performances of traditional New Orleans jazz worldwide and for “Keeping Traditional Jazz Live and Well;
- OffBeat Magazine, for “Keeping Traditional Jazz in the News”;
- the Louisiana State Museum for “Preserving Our Musical Legacy”;
- Al and Linda Harris and Brenda C. Thornton “For Their Dedication in Preserving Our Culture”;
The French Quarter Festivals staff also unveiled the 2015 Satchmo SummerFest poster, designed by artist Phil Roberts.
The ceremony was followed by a performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and by the first of a day-long series of Symposium conversations, focused on “Musical First Responders” moderated by WWNO’s Fred Kasten.
Photos by Noé Cugny