Renowned musician Jools Holland visits Louis Armstrong’s house to explore his world.
In this series, renowned pianist Jools Holland travels through the USA in search of the roots of jazz, blues, soul and rock’n’roll. In each programme he visits a historically significant building in a different city and talks to fellow musicians, historians and other interested parties to build up a picture of how a particular music has developed, and to explore the communities that grow up around those musics today.
And because it’s Jools, he can’t turn down the opportunity to play a bit as well!
In this first episode, Jools leaves his week long series of concerts at New York’s famous Blue Note Café to visit the modest house in the NYC suburb of Queens where his hero, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, spent the majority of his adult life. Lucille Armstrong bought 56 107th St, Corona in 1943 without bothering to tell her husband, and, despite his initial misgivings, Louis lived there until his death in 1971, at the centre of a community that grew to include African American jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie alongside the regular working class residents.
Guests, including Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hiseman and leading Armstrong expert Ricky Riccardi, discuss how Armstrong invented jazz as we know it today, and via archive we hear from Satchmo himself (and Lucille!).
And there’s live music too, as Jools commandeers Armstrong’s own piano for a set of jazz classics with Ricky Riccardi and rising young trumpet star Joe Boga.
You are at the first episode