Remembering the One and Only Satchmo
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (Aug. 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971) is considered by many to be the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he went on to become one of the most influential musicians in jazz’s history. The American jazz trumpeter and singer born in New Orleans was described as a young prodigy and received formal music training while confined to the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys.
Through the early years of the Cold War (which lasted from 1945 to 1991 during the tense relationship between the U.S. and Soviet Union), Armstrong served as “Ambassador Satch.” Armstrong spread goodwill for America around the globe. He was especially well-received in the newly independent nations of Africa, marked by such events as a 1956 concert celebrating Ghana’s independence, attended by more than 100,000 Louis Armstrong fans.