Louisiana “Satchmo” Armstrong Jazz Camp Announces Fundraising Concert

On 27-The annual Louisiana “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp for budding musicians is underway for summer 2022. A fundraising concert to support camp operations under the theme “Honoring the Past and Looking to the Future” will be held on Wednesday, July 6 at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Centre. The fundraiser is presented by the New Orleans Arts and Culture Host Committee.

For the first time in three years, camp is being held in person through July 8 at Loyola University’s Communications and Music Complex. Lessons are offered in woodwinds, brass, piano, electric and upright bass, drums, strings, vocals and music competitions as well as second line dance.

Donald Harrison Jr., honored by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, is the camp’s new artistic director. Born in New Orleans, Harrison is a cultural activist, saxophonist, composer and educator. He is well known for his energetic improvisational style and the creation of “Noveau Swing”, a mixture of jazz with R&B, hip-hop, rock and soul. His dedication to preserving the music and culture of New Orleans has been crucial to ensuring the survival of his important legacy. He has also mentored world-famous young jazz artists from New Orleans and beyond, including Jon Batiste, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and Esperanza Spaulding.

He was also artistic director and educator for the Tipitina Foundation internship program. Harrison studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts with Ellis Marsalis, Jr. before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed and recorded with distinguished musicians such as Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Lena Horne, Eddie Palmieri, the Notorious BIG as well as the Cookers. Harrison is the son of the late New Orleans folklorist Donald Harrison, Sr., known for his involvement in local Indian Mardi Gras traditions. Both are Mardi Gras Indian chefs. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help guide this next generation of musicians,” Harrison said.

Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan is the artistic director emeritus of the camp. Jordan co-founded the camp in 1995 when he was chair of jazz studies at Southern University New Orleans and artistic director of the Don Jamison School of Music for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. The camp’s other co-founder was Harris, who at the time was executive director of the New Orleans Music and Entertainment Commission under Mayor Marc Morial’s administration. The camp was presented by the Music and Entertainment Commission until 2002. The New Orleans Arts and Culture Host Committee has since assumed responsibility for presenting and raising funds for the program .

Educator, vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris is the 2022 Artist-in-Residence. Four-time Grammy-nominated Harris has been hailed as “one of jazz’s most important young artists” by the Los Angeles Times. He is seven times best mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association, recipient of Downbeat’s Critics Poll Winner for Vibraphone. It won a 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in classical percussion and a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He tours around the world as a guest artist and with his band Blackout. “Given the difficult circumstances our children face, it is extremely important to give them healthy tools for emotional and intellectual expression,” Harris said. “Jazz as an art form, uniquely provides a nurturing and safe space for all people to express their truth through music. The Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp does absolutely vital work on behalf of our children. and our community.

The July 6 fundraiser is a live concert of teachers and artists featuring Donald Harrison, Stefon Harris, Germaine Bazzle, Brian Quezergue, Jonathan Bloom, Darrell Lavigne, Marlon Jordan, Herman Lebeaux, Roderick Paulin, Chris Severin , Tj Norris, Clarence Johnson, Joel Duson, Don Vappie and Andrew Baham. Tickets, tax-deductible, start at $50 for the 8 p.m. concert and $100 for the concert and reception from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. More than 2,000 young people have attended the jazz camp since its beginnings. Fundraising tickets are available at Eventbrite.

Ada J. Kenney