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Satchmo SummerFest Celebrates the Legacy of Louis Armstrong

Satchmo SummerFestPhoto courtesy of Satchmo SummerFest on Facebook

Satchmo SummerFest started in 2001 as a tribute to Louis Armstrong, one of New Orleans’ most prominent native residents, on his 100th birthday (“Satchmo” was one of Armstrong’s several nicknames). Ever since, the fest remains the August highlight and just the respite we need from the long weeks of the summer.

The annual festival, traditionally held over the three days of the first weekend of August in the French Quarter (falling on August 2-4 this year), is easy to navigate and get to. The fest will be spread on three stages at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (previously the Old U.S. Mint). The always-stellar lineup includes Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Big 6 Brass Band, Ellis Marsalis, Jeremy Davenport, Charmaine Neville, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Tremé Brass Band, and many more.

Among the festival’s traditional special events, the annual Jazz Mass, will again be held at St. Augustine’s church (1210 Governor Nicholls St.) on Sunday, August 4, at 10 a.m. It’s a popular event, so arrive early if you plan to attend. Immediately following mass, join the “Satchmo Salute” second line parade, which will make its way from the church to Armstrong Park before secondlining down to Esplanade Avenue and the festival’s grounds. Marching groups will include Tremé Million Dollar Baby Dolls, Al ‘’Carnival Time’ Johnson, Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Sudan Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Undefeated Divas Social  Aid & Pleasure Club, and more. Sunday traditionally closes with the trumpet tribute to Armstrong (7-8 p.m.) For schedule, lineup and updates please check the event’s website or its Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Satchmo SummerFest on Facebook

There is a $6 daily admission fee for adults; kids under 12 get in free. You can get the wristband at the gate and come and go as you please — as in the previous years, readmittance to the grounds is permitted.

And, don’t forget about the food! Dozens of the best local restaurants as vendors will be featured, including The Big Cheezy, Congreso Cubano, Café Dauphine, Gulf Tacos, and The Company Burger. Some of the festival’s favorites, like Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant and Quintin’s Ice Cream, are returning this year. Beer lovers will not want to miss the Abita Beer Garden, serving favorites and seasonal brews, and there will be plenty of wine and cocktails around.

You may also want to know:

There will also be shaded picnic tables on the grounds for dining.

Parking: Street parking only. You may want to look along the stretch of the French Market and at the foot of Esplanade.

The $6 wristband guarantees re-entry to the grounds.

Pops’ Playhouse for Kids at the Jazz Museum will have children’s activities.

Festival details:

What: The 19th annual Satchmo SummerFest

When: Friday-Sunday, August 2-4, 2019

Where: New Orleans Jazz Museum (formerly the U.S. Mint), 400 Esplanade Ave., French Quarter

Admission: $6 wristband for daily admission for adults; free for children under 12 – helps support local musicians and pay for the event

Schedule and food vendors