NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Louis Armstrong House Museum today announced that Dr. John, music icon; Cyril Neville, legendary musician and activist; Jerome Chazen, Chairman of Chazen Capital Partners, Chairman Emeritus of Liz Claiborne, Inc. and Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum; and Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and noted philanthropist and jazz aficionado, will be presented with the 'Louie Award' for their dedication to preserving and promoting the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong at the Museum's annual gala on December 2, 2015.
The Gala, which will include a special performance by Cyril Neville's Royal Southern Brotherhood band, also will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Louis Armstrong's first professional gig, during which he played the cornet at Henry Ponce's saloon in New Orleans. Armstrong, who died in 1971 and was known as Satchmo, is widely recognized as a founding father of jazz. He recorded hit songs for five decades, appeared in more than 30 motion pictures, and performed to sold-out concerts across the world. Despite wealth and fame, Armstrong settled in a working class neighborhood in Queens. His former home, perfectly preserved, is now the site of the museum celebrating his legacy.
"Each of our honorees enjoys a very special connection to Louis Armstrong and we are thrilled to honor them at the gala," said Michael Cogswell, Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. "Louis continues to inspire people everywhere, every day. Just the mention of his name makes people smile."
"Louis Armstrong was my hero and an ambassador to the world from New Orleans," says Dr. John. "Satchmo opened the door for all of us. So getting the Louie Award from the Louis Armstrong House Museum on the 100th anniversary of his first gig is slammin'."
For his part, Neville says, "It is an extreme privilege to be honored by the Louis Armstrong House Museum and to honor Satchmo myself at the Gala. I've read that Jazz Music is the only true art form America has contributed to the world, which means Louis Armstrong is the Roux of the musical Gumbo that America is still serving to the world. Funkaliciously."
Chazen, recalling his days as a college student interviewing Armstrong in the 1940s, says, "He was a role model and never disappointed. He changed music in the 20th-century and will be forever remembered."
"Armstrong was a prodigious trumpeter, the pioneer of scat singing, and the world's first great solo jazz performer," says Smith. "His appeal was universal -- appealing to black and white at a time of deep discrimination in our society -- and he had a voice that is as recognizable today as it was when he was with us. Louis Armstrong has inspired generations of performers from across the globe. The work of this museum will ensure Satchmo's legacy endures for generations to come."
Previous recipients of the Louie Award include music producer Quincy Jones; comedian Dick Cavett; record producer George Avakian; jazz trumpet player, conductor, composer, and educator Jon Faddis; jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath; City University of New York Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson; novelist Stephen Maitland-Lewis; poet and culture critic Stanley Crouch; and jazz promoter and producer George Wein.
Gala 2015 will be held at Capitale at 130 Bowery in New York City on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Cocktails begin at 6:00 pm; dinner, with a special performance by Cyril Neville's Royal Southern Brotherhood band, and awards ceremony to begin at 7:00 pm.
About Louis Armstrong House Museum:
The Louis Armstrong House Museum, the long-time home of Louis and Lucille Armstrong, is a National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark in Corona, Queens. Since its opening in 2003, more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world have been introduced to the wonderful world of Louis Armstrong. The Museum's programs feature historic house tours, jazz concerts, and a wide variety of educational programs. The Museum owns and administers the largest research archives in the world for any jazz musician. The Museum is a cultural center of Queens College / CUNY and constituent of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
SOURCE Louis Armstrong House Museum